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The purpose of this paper is to share our pedagogical evolution as graduate faculty in relationship with increasingly diverse cohort communities of early childhood professionals learning across the landscape of leadership roles engaged with young children, families, and other adults. The early childhood leadership program described in this paper offers a graduate certificate where annually, a cohort of 18-22 early childhood professionals from across Colorado in the United States learn together for 13 months. As faculty, we share a strong commitment to both learning about our teaching and to inviting student voices, the early childhood professionals, through dialogic processes in participatory study as we co-learn and grow our practices of learning and teaching. This paper introduces and explores four leadership learning design principles: (1) identity and agency, (2) socially constructed pedagogy, (3) contextually relevant learning experience, and (4) appreciative stance. As we go, the story will unfold around how we engaged cohort members of the 2019-2020 program year through initial survey reflections and then deepening our shared understanding of these leadership learning design principles through iterations of dialogue after the program was concluded. We end the paper with reflections on how this process of study has ultimately brought us to an awareness and eagerness to engage in relational forms of inquiry, placing student voices at the center with even more intention and depth.
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