In an era of ongoing transformation in the Ukrainian education system, school leaders play an important role in implementing educational reforms. However, their role and practice of leadership are poorly understood. This qualitative case study explored facets of approaches to educational leadership and key challenges faced by four female principals (M age= 52 years, SD = 7.7) of average-sized public kindergartens, serving middle-class families. In-depth interviews were conducted. Results revealed important similarities and differences in principals’ views about their role and approach to work. All four principals were focused on their primary responsibilities, most prominently organisation of educational processes and relationships with teachers and parents. Differences in how they viewed their role, however, may affect their behaviours at work. While two principals focused on maintaining ongoing processes and strictly adhering to the hierarchy within their institution and with local educational authorities, the other two principals invested in motivating staff to increase their personal commitments and in developing trusting relationships with teachers and parents to create a shared identity for their institution. Implications for early childhood education principals in Ukraine are discussed.
- early childhood education
- Educational leadership
- lower-middle income countries
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology