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    How can I, as an early childhood educational leader, cultivate a Community of Practice in my setting?


    Mooney, Eimear (2021) How can I, as an early childhood educational leader, cultivate a Community of Practice in my setting? Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    The aim of this research was to explore means in which I could enhance my leadership skills by aligning my practice to my values. I value a colleigal environment and socially constructing knowledge with my colleagues. However, I was aware that my values were not reflected in my practice. Through engaging in self-study action research, I could examine my practice, identify methods in which I could enhance it and align my practice with my values. As this is a self-study action research project, it occurred within my place of work, an early childhood education and care facility. I enlisted the support of a critical friend with nine colleagues from my setting agreeing to participant in the research. The research methodology I used included questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and my reflective journal. These qualitative research tools would enable me to gain the perspective of the participants while including my own learning as a researcher. All ethical considerations were adhered to during this research, these included gaining informed consent from the participants, and the collection and storage of data. There were three action research cycles within this self-study, all of which focussed on enhancing my communication skills and providing opportunities for the co-construction of knowledge among the team. The data gathered and analysed from these research cycles indicated that the participants wished to engage in communities of practice to enhance their learning, practice, and sense of connection as a team. The data also found that the cultivation of a community of practice must be a deliberate and considerate act to support the involvement of all participants. However, it also identified the following concerns, my communication skills and sense of identity as a new leader influenced the level of engagement from the participants and at times acted a barrier to engagement among the participants. This emerged from unexpected data and my engagement in meta-reflection. These findings have led me to deeply consider my practice, identity, and values as an early childhood educational leader. Furthermore, they have also supported me in constructing a living theory of my practice by providing a rationale and awareness as to why I had previously engaged in such practice.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: early childhood; educational leader; cultivate; Community of Practice; Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 15165
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2021 14:18
    URI:

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