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Introduction There has been a significant measure of confusion between the role of a leader and manager in educational settings in the past decades. Rodd (2013) has commented on the problem with the following words, “understanding leadership in early childhood has been plagued by its confusion with the concept of a management” (p. 19). Since the two roles are interconnected, it often happens that different stakeholders in the educational process tend to confuse them. The following paper aims at making distinctions between the roles of leaders and managers in educational settings with the focus on early childhood education. The Role of a Leader in Education The role of a leader in educational settings includes numerous aspects such as the ability to influence the group to achieve the set tasks and goals, strategy and tactics development, creation of vision and meaning for the group, policy-making, and empowerment (Gibbs, 2008). An important characteristic of leadership includes a genuine personal interest in students’ welfare and dedication to educational values (Rodd, 2013). First of all, the role of a leader in education implicates one’s ability to organize students in a way that allows optimal opportunities for the realization of educational goals (Rodd, 2013). This is to be done through the ability to influence the group members in such a way that promotes the ultimate results achievement (Rodd, 2013). A leader has an important role in the educational process. He or she provides oversight and direction, shows appreciation, and gives one’s feedback and recognition for students (Rodd, 2013). Students need such direction to be able to identify their level of progress and set new goals for themselves. Further, the educational leader is the person with the excellent communicational skills enabling one to reach one’s audience in the most effective way (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2016). This is especially the case when a leader works with the students of the youngest age category because one of the most important conditions for success in this age category is the teacher’s speech clearness (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2016). This peculiarity can be explained by the fact that the youngest learners only begin to facilitate their comprehensive abilities and develop new learning skills. An educational leader is also the person who knows how to create a positive learning atmosphere in class (Rodd, 2013). One knows how to facilitate mutual support and understanding between all students and the teacher. Another main characteristic of a good leader is inspiration by educational ideas and genuine personal interest to students. Such an attitude will become a miraculous chariot rapidly bringing a teacher to the elevations of success. Passion to knowledge is contagious. A teacher should be inspired by the ideas of the triumph of knowledge and education because otherwise, it would be difficult for him or her to motivate one’s students (Rowell, 2009). Moreover, in today’s situation in the educational world, a good leader should have a high level of interest in the implementation of new technologies in order to keep up with the progress (ACECQA, n.d.). Therefore, the role of a leader in educational settings is to promote technological progress and make advancements to incorporate it into the daily teaching practice (ACECQA, n.d.). Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More In addition, a leader in education is a strategist who formulates long-term goals for upgrading the system with the help of plans, policies, and tactics (Carter, 2003). An educational leader is thus highly interested in what can be done to promote the positive change within the organization. One is also interested in how the organization’s standard practice contributes to the set goals achievement, and if he or she notices that corrections are needed, the person acts promptly to ensure the steady advancement towards progress (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2016). Overall, a leader in education is a status quo challenger and creator of positive change. Required Skills and Dispositions Being a leader in quality requires constant work on one’s personal character traits, dispositions, and skills (VIT, 2015). The core character traits for a leader in education are self-confidence; honesty; independence; decisiveness; achievement drive; excellent thinking ability; persistency; tenacity; conscientiousness in pursuit of goals; excellent problem-solving capacity; excellent analytical skills; and position power (VIT, 2015). The key leader skills are communication, emotional intelligence, job-relevant knowledge and competences, technical skills, social skills, ability to motivate people, team-building experience, pedagogical content knowledge, pedagogical skills to implement the teaching strategies, and analytical skills (ECA, 2006). The essential dispositions of a leader in education are ambition and energy, self-management, self-awareness, self-motivation, inspiration, desire to lead, integrity, honesty, self-confidence, and intelligence (VIT, 2015). The Role of a Manager in Education The role of the manager in education amounts to the role of facilitator of the educational process rather than the inspirer (Waniganayake, Cheeseman, Fenech, Hadley,
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