Course Description

SHER 601: Leading for Change in Early Childhood Education


This 12 month, hybrid course provides participants with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to design and lead change and innovations in early childhood settings and systems in Maryland and nationally.  Participants will examine the theory and practice of change to gain an understanding of what contributes to organizational progress and sustained improvement. Participants will analyze the forces that drive change, examine impediments to change, and survey a range of approaches for making change more effective.  In addition, the course focuses on leadership in its many forms (in teaching, administration, policy, research, ethics).  Participants will gain a deeper understanding of themselves as developing leaders and change agents, and explore ways to improve professional practice, early education quality, and promote social justice and caring in programs and systems serving young children and families.  The course is designed with a highly interactive approach that centers on the leadership development of each participant, in the context of the programs/settings in which they work or intend to work.  The theories of leadership and the case studies read will be connected to the participants’ development as leaders.  Participants will identify a focal area related to early childhood education practice, develop a theory of change, and explore how leadership in research, policy, and practice can support change.