The Leadership of Dr. Joe L. Frost: A Life History Study

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Mary Ruth Moore


Dorothy Ettling


Susan Hall


Jessica Kimmel


This research examined the leadership style of Joe L. Frost by reviewing the professional history of Frost. Using a life history methodology, this case study of the life of Dr. Joe L. Frost is based on the premise that his life history has created the foundation of his leadership style. The research is viewed in the context of three major areas: (a) the history of early childhood education; (b) leadership in early childhood education; and (c) the work of Joe Frost and his influence in early childhood education. This life history inquiry utilized in-depth interviews, biographical data, textual information, and a review of Frost’s own publications as the primary research strategies. After analyzing the data and findings, the researcher chose the fusion leadership style to discuss Frost’s leadership qualities The subtle forces as described in fusion leadership are the also those which are predominant themes in Frost personal and private life. This study offers several suggestions regarding the practice of discerning leadership styles from the life history of those in leadership positions. Frost has emulated a way of managing his life and his responsibilities in a manner that provided relationships and learning for himself and his students. The details of his early life and then his journey to higher education provide us with examples of the connection between a vision and the manifestation of that vision throughout his career.

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