leadership and early childhood education for sustainability: a multiple case study

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Authors
Noelke, Jacqueline C.
Issue Date
2016-04-01
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Dissertation
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en_US
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Abstract
As a response to an escalating awareness of global sustainability issues, an increasing number of early childhood leaders have chosen to adopt sustainability principles at their early childhood centers. However, there is a lack of research on Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (ECEfS), particularly from American authors. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study, was to explore leadership traits and leadership experiences, of leaders from Midwestern United States private early childhood centers that demonstrated sustainability principles. Sustainability principles were defined as: (a) respect and care for the community of life, (b) ecological integrity, (c) social and economic justice, and (d) democracy, non-violence, and peace. The aim of this study was to describe leadership traits and leadership experiences of leaders in early childhood settings that demonstrated sustainability principles. Purposeful sampling was used to gain three participants. Major themes across cases were: (a) physical space and nature, (b) values, (c) curriculum, (d) non-traditional leadership, and (e) desire for additional resources. A list of recommendations were developed for ECEfS leaders which included: (a) focus on the physical space as a starting point; (b) involve others when possible; (c) use an non-hierarchal approach to leadership; (d) inform potential new hires of your values and goals; (e) seek certifications/accreditations; (f) make sustainability a business advantage/use to attract families; (g) form partnerships; (h) share experiences with others and if possible publish experiences; (i) choose a transformational education model; (j) make small changes over time; and (k) learn change theory. Additionally, a recommendation for the development of a supporting organization for ECEfS was made. Key words: Early Childhood Education for Sustainability, sustainability leadership
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Creighton University
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Copyright is retained by the Author. A non-exclusive distribution right is granted to Creighton University and to ProQuest following the publishing model selected above.
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