Student Leadership Development: A literature review and focus group interview on leadership education
thesisposted on 01.01.2015, 00:00 authored by Megan Matthews
Leadership education is a crucial component of student development. There are many skills and competencies included in leadership development. Student leadership development (SLD) and education provides students with opportunities to demonstrate and develop their leadership skills at a young age. There is currently an argument for combining student leadership development opportunities into the formal education model (Bowman, 2014; Brungardt, 1997; Dyment, Morse, Shaw, & Smith, 2014; Ponder et al., 2011; Seemiller & Murray, 2013; Van Velsor & Wright, 2012; Whitehead, 2009).To explore the changing landscape of leadership education, I conducted a literature review in order to provide working definitions, the importance and history of SLD, examples of institutions providing leadership education programs, and how educators might engage in leadership education. Then the literature review informed the creation of a website that presented the research and resources of leadership education. In addition, this project aimed to address leadership education at Teton Science Schools (TSS). Focus group interviews discussed current leadership education at TSS and how the website resource (http://matmc11.wixsite.com/executivesummarysld) and research could be used as a resource for TSS instructors. In addition to the website, I made several recommendations. (a) TSS needs to define their philosophy of leadership at the senior management level and let that guide clear goals and outcomes for all students in each program area; (b) TSS needs to explore assessing its leadership education outcomes; (c) Concrete examples and lesson plans need to be added to the website; and (d) There should be a focus on the link between place-based education and leadership education.