Early Childhood Program Director Leadership Characteristics and Program Quality
This phenomenological research study was conducted to explore and describe how the characteristics, traits, and styles of directors, as described and perceived by the teachers, reflect the factors that are currently addressed in the indicators forming the basis for evaluating program quality. Teacher participants from six sites participated in a survey, questionnaire, and interview to determine director and program profiles. The Program Quality Assessment score was used as a standardized data source.
The data were collected, coded, and analyzed to determine the director and program profiles for each of the sites. The director and program data for each site were displayed in the director and program quality profile tables. The profiles were then grouped by Program Quality Assessment scores to establish three range groups. The programs in each grouping were analyzed for agreement and disparity within the director profiles and program profiles created from the four data sources. Next, the analysis focused on the strength of alignment among the descriptions of the directors' leadership that existed between the program quality range groups.
This study confirmed a director profile for the high quality ranked programs was feasible. It also confirmed that the programs in other range groups displayed minimal commonalities to warrant program quality range group profiles. The second finding for this research study confirmed that a shared program profile was possible across range groups. The findings of this research study add to the literature by providing a better understanding of the high quality program directors' profile of leadership characteristics, traits, and styles, as described by the teachers from the high quality programs. In addition, the findings also illustrate how teachers in high quality programs link program quality with the leadership of the director.