Open Access

A Playcentre learning story: Te Whāriki as a framework for reflecting on emergent leadership


Research into leadership in early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand is in its infancy. At this early stage, distributed leadership has been identified as the most common style of leadership used in teacher-led early childhood education and care services. However, as a parent-led early childhood education service, Playcentre uses emergent leadership. Currently, professional development opportunities on leadership in early childhood education are geared towards teacher-led services. Therefore, how can a parent who has experienced emergent leadership identify the leadership skills gained that will form part of their professional practice when they return to paid work? This enquiry uses Te Whāriki as a leadership framework for reflecting on leadership skills gained through Playcentre. An autoethnographic case study method was employed to explore this framework in the context of the leadership skills that I gained while working at Playcentre over a 16–year period. The enquiry concluded that combining Te Whāriki with the early childhood education assessment for learning framework provides a matrix for examining leadership practice, as well as a way of developing insights into personal leadership practices. The use of the matrix provides scope for Playcentre leaders and other early childhood education leaders to reflect and gain insight into their leadership and for developing their own leadership framework of practice.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Education, other