The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss contrasting perceptions regarding “leadership and mentoring” among leaders of Norwegian early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres in their mentoring practices with newly qualified early childhood teachers (NQTs).
Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with eight leaders in Norwegian ECEC centres.
Leaders in dual roles as leaders and mentors have varying orientations in mentoring NQTs.
The paper presents the findings as two main orientations: an individual and an organizational orientation.
Individually oriented leaders as mentors focus on individual needs and support of the NQT. Organizationally oriented leaders as mentors emphasize collective reflection and learning in the staff group and include NQTs in various learning processes in the ECEC centre.
The study contributes to increased knowledge on how leaders’ views on leadership and organization influence their mentoring with NQTs. The study is relevant for leaders in other educational settings such as schools.