The potential of ‘leading identity’ as an analytic concept for understanding Educational Leadership development in early childhood education

Linda Henderson, Joce Nuttall, Elizabeth Wood, Jenny Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper responds to pressing calls to better theorise the development of Educational Leadership in early childhood education. Specifically, we examine the usefulness of) the concept of leading identity for understanding shifts in Educational Leaders’ accounts of their leadership practices. Twenty Educational Leaders, recruited from Australian early childhood services, were interviewed before and after a developmental intervention using Change Laboratory approach. Our analysis of these interviews illustrates how leading identity can be used to trace shifts in the dynamic interplay of persons and practices in Educational Leadership work. We conclude by reflecting on how our argument might inform theorisation of leadership in early childhood education, the design of professional learning programmes for leadership development, and the methodological potential of leading identity for evaluating such programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-889
Number of pages15
JournalTeachers and teaching: theory and practice
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • change laboratory
  • cultural-historical activity theory
  • Educational leadership
  • leading activity
  • leading identity

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