Leadership Journal #1: Understanding Yourself as an Innovative Leader in Early Childhood Education
As a graduate student in the MAECEL program, you have chosen to take charge of your own professional development and have made a deep commitment to the field of early childhood education. In the MAECEL program, you will gain professional knowledge and skills aligned with the professional standards and expectations in the field. Additionally, several relevant and pertinent program themes – professional leadership, social justice, and 21st century teaching and learning – are woven throughout the program to enhance your learning experience and to support your professional development as an expert and leader in early childhood education.
In each course, you will have one leadership journal assignment that is designed to provide opportunities for you to reflect upon and self-assess your professional knowledge, skills, and leadership attributes. For all journal entries, you will build upon what you have written in previous courses to expand and extend your thinking about yourself as a professional and leader. It is appropriate to write your journal entries in first person.
The journal prompts are in the form of essential questions that have been determined to be central areas of inquiry throughout the program. Essential questions are designed to be broad, timeless, and vital to developing deep understandings of concepts in your field of study. Additionally, essential questions are designed to have many different, complex answers and responses – there is no one right answer. The intent is for the essential questions to lead you to in-depth inquiry and critical thinking about our program topics.
The journal prompts will have two parts. The first part of the prompt will focus on personal and professional leadership reflection as it relates to the specific course content of your current course. The second part of the prompt applies to general professional and program knowledge, skills, and dispositions. You will reflect upon and discuss each of the reflective questions in Part 1 and Part 2 outlined below.
The following content areas are required for this assignment:
Part 1: Content/Course Reflection
What are the five most important “big ideas” related to the NAEYC Professional Standards and Code of Ethics that you learned about in this course?
How can your professional practices foster social justice in Early Childhood Education?
How did your understanding of 21st century teaching and learning develop further in this course?
Based on your experience in this course, what are your strengths and areas for improvement in professional knowledge and skills? Where are your “blind spots”?
Part 2: Program/Personal Reflection
What does ‘leadership’ mean to me?
What type of leader do I want to be and why?
Why is it important to be an innovative leader in Early Childhood Education?
Why is it important to you to uphold social justice as an Early Childhood Education leader?
Integrative and Critical Thinking Expectations (demonstrated within the content of the journal):
Connections to Experience: Meaningfully synthesizes connections among experiences both within and outside of coursework to deepen understanding of fields of study and to broaden own points of view.
Reflection and Self-Assessment: Envisions a future self (and possibly makes plans that build on past experiences) that have occurred across multiple and diverse contexts.
Research and Resource Expectations:
Sources are not required for your journal assignments. However, if you need to cite information, you must cite in APA format and include a reference page.
Writing and Formatting Expectations:
Professional Reflective Voice: Journals may be written in a less formal, but still professional voice (avoids casual language). First person voice is encouraged.
Organization: Demonstrates logical progression of ideas.
Syntax and Mechanics: Writing displays meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
APA Formatting: Papers are formatted properly and all sources (if used) are cited and referenced in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center
(Links to an external site.)
Suggested Assignment Length: 2-3 double-spaced pages (not including title and reference pages – if needed).