This paper reports the ways in which Educational Leaders in Australian early childhood education workplaces are interpreting and implementing their mandatory role. Interviews with 20 Educational Leaders in two Australian government jurisdictions were analysed using cultural-historical activity theory. Our analysis suggests a significant gap between government policy orientation toward quality improvement and the project of professionalisation of the field that motivates Educational Leaders. We argue the work of Educational Leaders is primarily oriented towards raising the status and capacity of their colleagues as a pre-requisite for high-quality outcomes, and that concepts of quality operate instead as mediating tools. In this sense, a focus on professionalisation both subsumes the international policy focus on quality.
- early childhood education
- educational leadership