Learning in nature: Leadership opportunities in an Education Outside the Classroom programme in a New Zealand early childhood centre


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Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice

New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society

Subject: Education


ISSN: 1178-8690





Volume / Issue / page

Volume 33 (2018)
Volume 32 (2017)
Volume 30 (2015)
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VOLUME 33 , ISSUE 1 (June 2018) > List of articles

Learning in nature: Leadership opportunities in an Education Outside the Classroom programme in a New Zealand early childhood centre

Vicky Hill

Keywords : Leadership; distributed leadership; early childhood education; nature programme; bush kindergarten; Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC)

Citation Information : Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice. Volume 33, Issue 1, Pages 32-45, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/jelpp-2018-004

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Published Online: 02-April-2019



This article explores how involvement in an Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) programme in one New Zealand early childhood centre provides leadership opportunities for teachers and children and highlights the benefits of [re]connecting young children with nature on a regular basis. It focuses on teachers’ and parents’ views and perspectives on their participation in this nature-based education programme, specifically in regard to the leadership opportunities that the programme provided for teachers and children. This article highlights the powerful influence of the EOTC programme in the development of teachers’ leadership. It describes how leadership is a contextual phenomenon and explains how a formal EOTC programme in an early childhood centre provided increased opportunities for teacher leadership regardless of formal leadership position. Distributed leadership and relational leadership were identified as key components of the programme. The article also explores how involvement with the EOTC programme and the natural environment provided significant opportunities for the leadership development of children, in addition to developing their physical abilities, independence and social skills. This article adds valuable knowledge in the area of leadership opportunities resulting from involvement in an EOTC programme.

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