School leadership plays a critical role in providing appropriate and sustainable curriculum practices. However, there remain significant knowledge gaps in understanding early childhood curriculum leadership in Chinese contexts. In order to examine early childhood curriculum leadership in such contexts, this study analyses and interprets data from interviews with leaders in five Chinese kindergartens. Data from classroom observations and curriculum documents are used to supplement the interviews. The evidence indicates that, in each of the Chinese kindergartens, (1) early childhood curriculum innovations led by the curriculum leaders evolved through stages from imitating imported models to innovating practices; (2) the leaders played various roles in different stages of the early childhood curriculum innovations; and (3) the leading process in early childhood curriculum innovations involved critical events along the action research cycles. The characteristics of early childhood curriculum leadership are drawn from these cases to develop a multistage integrated model. Finally, the implications of the findings are discussed to inform the enhancement of early childhood curriculum and early childhood curriculum leadership practices in Chinese societies and beyond. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s).
CitationYang, W. (2019). Moving from imitation to innovation: Exploring a Chinese model of early childhood curriculum leadership. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 20(1), 35-52. doi: 10.1177/1463949119825501
- Chinese contexts
- Curriculum innovation
- Curriculum leadership
- Early childhood curriculum
- School-based curriculum development