Leadership is one of five School of Early Learning values.
SOEL’s Anti-bias Values blog series have shared how our values of curiosity, mindfulness, integrity, and resilience align with the Anti-bias approach to early childhood education. In our final Anti-bias value blog, we will explore SOEL’s fifth value of Leadership.
“Leadership is not about titles or the corner office. It’s about the willingness to step up, put yourself out there, and lean into courage. The world is desperate for braver leaders[i].”– Brene Brown
Braver leaders are true to themselves, ensuring that to be influential people leaders, they must first be effective self-leaders.
- They are open-minded; they can react to different situations in the changing environment and value the unique insights that diverse perspectives can bring.
- Recognise that strength relies on unity; they make strategies based on the team’s best interests.
- Consider problem-solving as a team effort.
- Don’t distinguish; they treat everyone equally as peers. They are generous and share knowledge and experiences for the team’s greater good and development.
- Focus on employee empowerment and continuous improvement.
Contemporary theory on Leadership states that leadership skills are present in every individual.
This year educators at the Schools of Early Learning leaned into courage and demonstrated their ability to be braver leaders. It began by consciously working with the Anti-bias Approach throughout all our age groups and sharing this journey with our families. This was a courageous act. The Schools of Early Learning are no stranger to being brave, deciding many years ago to take the work of educators in Reggio Emilia seriously and bring this approach to Western Australia and the children in their care. This decision was an acknowledgment of our educators’ previous anti-bias work with children.
In her book, Dare to Lead, Brene adds that courage is a collection of four skill sets that can be taught, observed, and measured. The four skill sets are: rumbling with vulnerability, living into our values, braving trust, and learning to rise.
“At the heart of daring Leadership is a deeply human truth that is rarely acknowledged, especially at work – courage and fear are not mutually exclusive. Most of us feel brave and afraid at the exact same time. We feel vulnerable. Sometimes all day long… when we’re pulled between our fear and our call to courage, we need shared language, skills, tools, and daily practices that can support us through the rumble.” – Brene Brown
Our educators dug deep into their values and beliefs around the goals of the Anti-bias approach and what this approach meant for their everyday practices with children. Finally, the educators reflected together in their teams about what they were learning alongside the children. Children, too, can be teachers and braver leaders, offering questions that provoke thoughtful inquiry, searching and learning. The findings of the 2022 anti-bias research in the 3- and 4-year-old programmes are shared as separate blog posts and videos. These will demonstrate educators’ Leadership and courage in this arena.
For 2023, the value of Leadership will be expressed in the following:
- Continued research into anti-bias with all age groups linking strongly to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF);
- SOEL’s commitment to establishing a shared language around inclusion, children’s needs and emotional states through Circle of Security training and Phoenix Cups;
- Our commitment to listening to the voices and perspectives of our educators and Educational Leaders and Manager around continuous improvement for SOEL through critical reflection;
- Sharing with the broader community what our children and educators are engaging with and where they are breaking new ground in early childhood; and
- Creating a different way of strengthening our relationships with our families and having them join the children’s shared journey.
For more thoughtful information about Leadership, please look at the following websites and resources:
- The heart of daring Leadership. https://brenebrown.com/podcast/the-heart-of-daring-leadership/
- The Daring leadership assessment. https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/assessment/
-  Dare To Lead. Brene Brown
- [i] https://brenebrown.com/hubs/dare-to-lead/
Related Blog Posts
SOEL Home Experience: Curiosity
The Pedagogy and Training team discusses the approach to research SOEL will take in 2022 where we will be exploring social justice.
SOEL Home Experience: Integrity
At SOEL, Breaking new ground with integrity includes sharing respectfully and honouring everyone’s stories. Because all stories matter.
SOEL Home Experience: Mindfulness
At SOEL, mindfulness shapes and guides our research work with children and educators through our anti-bias lens, which in turn helps us become mindful educators.