1 Chapter 1 Leadership in Early Childhood Education I n this chapter, I will discuss various ways of looking at leaders and leadership. You will have an opportunity to think about leadership’s developmental nature, the way the leadership process is mutually influenced by leaders and followers, and the many roles and words used to describe leaders. You will learn the differences between leadership, power, authority, and status. You will explore the relationship between leadership development and human development. Finally, you will have an opportunity to think about what leadership means to you. But first, let’s take a look at why we need leadership in our field and at the challenges and obstacles we face because our profession is composed almost entirely of women working with children. Why Do We Need Leaders and Leadership in Early Childhood Care and Education? There are 2.3 million people serving approximately 12 million children under the age of 6 every day. Another 3 million children participate in after-school and summer programs and many millions more are in public or private primary grades. For each child, you and your colleagues serve as important teachers. Each and every one of your words, actions, reactions, values, beliefs, interests, priorities, and perspectives (and a host of other things) provide the children with a model of what kind of person they can LTL2_FINALpp.indd 1 11/4/09 3:21:07 PM