'Dissensus’ and the emergence of activist leadership in the baby room of UK early childhood settings

Article


Sakr, M. and Halls, K. 2024. 'Dissensus’ and the emergence of activist leadership in the baby room of UK early childhood settings. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice.
TypeArticle
Title'Dissensus’ and the emergence of activist leadership in the baby room of UK early childhood settings
AuthorsSakr, M. and Halls, K.
Abstract

In the context of a chronically under-funded and fragmented Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector in England, there is an urgent need for models of leadership that emphasise action and advocacy. In the baby room, where pay, conditions and status are at their lowest, this is particularly the case. In this article, building on the model of activist leadership put forward by Woodrow and Busch (2008), we consider ‘dissensus’ as a foundation for activist leadership among baby room leaders working in English nurseries. Dissensus is the willingness to express and explore differences, disagreements and tensions. In gathering the perspectives and experiences of 15 baby room leaders, we identified three threads of dissensus which we consider in this article: 1) the desire for baby room educators’ contributions to be recognised as more than ‘just care’, 2) feelings of resentment around being overlooked and undermined by ECEC colleagues outside of the baby room and 3) questions around pay and conditions in the baby room. We consider these threads of dissensus as a potential starting point for activist leadership in the baby room.

Keywordsdissensus; activism; advocacy; leadership; early childhood; babies; education; activist leadership
Sustainable Development Goals4 Quality education
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Research GroupCentre for Education Research and Scholarship (CERS)
LanguageEnglish
PublisherSAGE Publications
JournalEducation, Citizenship and Social Justice
ISSN1746-1979
Electronic1746-1987
Publication process dates
Accepted04 Mar 2024
Deposited25 Mar 2024
Output statusAccepted
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article accepted for publication in the journal Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, published by SAGE Publications.

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