Styrernes profesjonelle identitet

Granrusten, P. T.
Barnehagen som læringsarena: Mellom styring og ledelse, 215-233. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.


The purpose of this study is to examine whether ECEC centre leaders consider themselves as ECEC teachers or leaders. The study investigates whether the ECEC centre leaders' self-image affects leadership of the learning processes at their ECEC centre.


Overall, the author finds a great variation in the informants' perception of their own professional identity.

Most leaders identify themselves as teachers, and even the leaders who primarily consider themselves as leaders hold on to the perception that an educational background as an ECEC teacher is vital for their leadership role at the ECEC centre. Except for one informant, all leaders believe that their degree in social education is a prerequisite for being an ECEC centre leader. The study concludes that the ECEC teacher profession is a strong identification foundation for the identity of the leaders in the study.

The authors conclude that the findings in the study do not indicate that the leaders' identity affects their focus as a leader or how they lead their ECEC centre with regard to learning. Leadership focus is more influenced by the structure and size of the ECEC centre than by the leader's identity. Leaders of large ECEC centres must exercise their leadership through others, for example through pedagogical leaders or management teams. There is a great difference between how "hands-on" the interviewed leaders report to be in everyday activities. The author concludes that this does not depend on the leaders' self-perceived identity.

The author finds that the structure and size of the ECEC centre is crucial for the leadership of learning at the ECEC centre. In large private ECEC centres, the leaders work on the basis of a market and competitive perspective where profiling and marketing are important to establish a good financial basis for good pedagogical initiatives. Leaders of municipal ECEC centres work through municipal cross-disciplinary management teams to achieve the best possible framework conditions for learning in the ECEC centre. In these management groups, the leaders try to influence the distribution of municipal resources, but they also try to influence the pedagogical content and the municipal focus areas.


The study is part of an anthology. The data material consists of 16 interviews with ECEC centre leaders in three different municipalities. In the interviews, the informants were asked to identify themselves either as a leader or as a teacher. In the analysis, this was interpreted as leaders primarily considering themselves professionally as leaders or as teachers. The analysis also focussed on the leader's awareness of their own identity regarding the leadership role.


Granrusten, P. T. (2016). Styrernes profesjonelle identitet. I: Moen, K. H., Gotvassli, K. Å., & Granrusten, P. T. (red.), Barnehagen som læringsarena: Mellom styring og ledelse, 215-233. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget

Granrusten, P.T. (2016). Strategisk ledelse av barnehagen som læringsarena. I: K.H. Moen, K.Å. Gotvassli, & P.T. Granrusten (red.): Barnehagen som læringsarena: Mellom styring og ledelse (s. 234-251). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Financed by

The Research Council of Norway