Leadership for learning in the preschool: preschool managers’ perspectives on strategies and actions in the systematic quality work

Håkansson, J.
Educational management administration & leadership, 1-18.


The purpose of this study is to examine preschool managers' understandings of their own practice and leadership regarding systematic quality work. In this study systematic quality work refers to follow-up and evaluation of preschool curriculum goals and guidelines contributing to professional development and preschool quality improvement.


The results indicate that the preschool managers consider systematic quality work as a continuous process, in which they need to balance between municipal requirements for systematic quality work and their own preschool's independent quality work. The preschool managers express that documentation methods such as interviews with children and questionnaires for parents as well as external requirement for feedback are acceptable. At the same time, the preschool managers use these documentation methods in a way that makes sense in the leadership of their own preschool. This means that the preschool managers' independent work on systematic quality work is largely influenced by the preschool staff's different attitudes and understandings as well as the culture that exists in the individual preschool. Finally, the results show that the preschool managers have developed more long-term strategies to better communicate their expectations for systematic quality work to the preschool staff.


The study is based on interviews with a total of 11 preschool managers from six different municipalities. The interview guide sought to include three sub-components: (1) the preschool's general and internal conditions, which include distribution of work tasks, (2) processes, which seek to identify what strategies preschool managers use in the systematic quality work, and (3) results, where the preschool managers were asked to give examples of how their leadership can lead to professional development among the preschool staff. In addition, the researcher collected the preschool managers' own documents describing the preschools' systematic quality work. These documents were not separately analysed, but were used to support the analysis of the interview material consisting of 11 interviews of 60-70 minutes. The interviews were analysed based on the study's research questions and the three components above.


Håkansson, J. (2017). Leadership for learning in the preschool: preschool managers’ perspectives on strategies and actions in the systematic quality work. Educational management administration & leadership, 1-18.
DOI: 10.1177/1741143217732794