Developing Leadership Among Students


What this entails?

The world has gone from the initial notion that leaders are born, to the ‘Trait Theory’ and has now graduated to the approach, and indeed acceptance, that leaders can be trained. It is also pertinent to note that leadership today includes management, which essentially is about the 5 M’s (Men, Money, Machines, Minutes, and Metre). The sum of activities in school must bolster practice of resource management, understanding of self & interpersonal skills and help develop students’ decision making and communication skills. It is only practice which will help fuse these various aspects into one holistic package, valid in today’s world. What better ground for a child to learn all this than his own school.

The Environment to Develop Leaders

A tiger reared as sheep will behave as sheep. Environment is hence important to develop leaders. This includes the following aspects, borne out by research:

    ▪   A leadership environment for all students may be created when teachers themselves have a belief that all students can lead.

    ▪ Student Leadership skills foster cognitive and social development. There is no prescribed approach or curriculum that supports teaching skills and knowledge in leadership. However, practice makes perfect. The more we give responsibility to students, the faster they will grow.

    ▪ The process of leadership from awareness to development to mastery of leadership skills, leads to more sophisticated leadership roles. Students need this prior instruction and experience to perform at a sophisticated level.

    ▪ Relationships within an environment of student leadership changes teacher perspective reduce tension between teachers and students, and helps students and teachers identify one another as persons and not stereotypes.

    ▪ Teachers should continue to develop leadership opportunities for students within classrooms, schools and community (eg through community...