Volume 14, Issue 3 -- Summer 2015

Welcome Summer!

It feels like only yesterday when we were posting the first regular issue of 2015, and now here we have arrived at our last. Time seems to move more quickly as the months fly by. What does that mean for leadership and leadership education. 24 hour news cycles, 500 cable channels, information overload, and technology are all changing the landscapes in which we work. How do you find time to "fit it all in"? How do you help your students or clientele navigate in this fast paced world? How does our pace change the way we see leaders and leadership? 

We hope that as you move from summer into fall, you will take the time for some rest and relaxation, and also to think about submitting some of your work to the 2016 issues of JOLE. We know that you are doing amazing things in your classrooms, boardrooms, and in the field, and we'd love to help you share that with our leadership colleagues.  

The purpose of this study was to understand if selected leadership pedagogy (hands on activities) utilized in an organizational behavior classroom contributed to the development of workplace readiness skills. Since successful organizational behavior classes and hands on learning can lead to successful graduates, the importance of leadership pedagogy emerges. In the case here, the participants in one organizational behavior class were followed through a single semester providing feedback to the instructors on the perceived effectiveness of the participatory activities. The researchers found that, in this case, the students shared mixed reactions to the activities, but were able to share positive impacts and gains they felt they received from participating in those activities. Readiness skills were developed, however recommendations for further research and practice are included. 

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Engineering students (N = 285) enrolled in either a first-year or senior-year design course that consisted entirely of team-based collaborative learning projects reported few gains in their overall leadership development. First-year students made moderate gains in transformational leadership skills and social-normative motivation to lead. Peer evaluations of skill were lower than were self-reported scores, and, for first-year students, self-reported scores and peer scores were not correlated. A high degree of co-curricular involvement in student organizations, as compared to little or no involvement, was associated with student gains in seniors. These results indicate the relatively small degree of leadership learning that takes place in classroom-based team experiences when those experiences are not paired with opportunities for deliberate practice or reflection in the development of leadership capacity.

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Can parents identify leadership lessons in children's media and use them to teach their children leadership? Thirty participants were asked to answer questions about leadership in children's media before and after watching clips of a popular G-rated children's movie. The results from the questionnaire indicated that parents do recognize leadership behaviors in children's media and do feel that their children are learning from the media. As a result of this learning environment, children become more aware of leadership. Further, sixty-seven percent of the parents claimed to reinforce the positive messages in the media, and seventy percent claimed to teach their children about leadership. In two participant groups, results varied by gender and education level. The study recommends ways for parents and media producers to emphasize leadership messages so as to foster leadership development in children.

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Leadership development transforms the lives of many students and leadership educators regularly witness these changes. But little research has articulated what is being taught that facilitates this change, how we can make it happen more often, or how we can measure this change. These transformations contribute to desirable outcomes including student persistence and academic achievement. Leadership studies programs have great potential to contribute to these positive student outcomes especially with first-year students.
Using the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, we delineate how the study of leadership aids students in experiencing these transformations, as defined by Schreiner’s Thriving Model, along with example lessons that serve elements in both models. Significant implications are discussed, including greater engagement with first-year students and outreach to at-risk students. This is followed by recommendations for leadership educators and a discussion of future research focus areas.

** This paper was the Outstanding Manuscrtip at the 2014 Association of Leadership Educator's Conference **

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Qualitative, case study methods were used to examine students' expectations of and experiences with studying women and leadership. Participants were 48 undergraduate students enrolled in an elective course titled Women and Leadership offered in the Leadership Studies minor curriculum at a liberal arts institution. Students perceived women and leadership as a sensitive subject fraught with potential struggles for learners, but were willing to engage in the subject in pursuit of both meaningful learning and their own utilitarian-oriented leadership development. Their experiences show the potential for transformative learning if the course content, structure, and learning environment are purposefully crafted to enable students to deal with anticipated or experienced struggles and engage in rather than resist the learning experience. The findings have implications for leadership curriculum design, course design, and pedagogy. Although this study focused on undergraduate learners in a traditional college classroom, the implications may also be relevant to a range of leadership educators and learners in various educational contexts both within and outside of academe.ale

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A great deal of literature exists for leadership educators related to programs design, delivery, and student learning. However, little is known about leadership educators, who have largely been left out of contemporary leadership education research. We looked to teaching and teacher education literature to derive a model for leadership educator professional identity development. The four spaces of identity development are exploration, experimentation, validation, and confirmation. We propose that an individual can move forward and backwards through the model as a result of both ongoing influences and positive or negative critical incidents. We discuss implications for professional development and future research.

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The increase in ownership and use of mobile-based devices among college students creates unique opportunities for faculty to develop highly engaging learning environments. With many educational institutions offering campus-wide Wi-Fi, students have the ability to use their mobile devices, including cell phones, tablets, and laptops for engaging with curriculum, specifically with leadership concepts. One method of engaging students is through the use of mobile-based polling, as an audience response system (ARS). Although most studies on the use of ARS in educational settings include traditional response system methods (e.g., clickers), emerging technologies have fueled interest in mobile-based polling. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects that mobile-based polling has among students of leadership when used as an audience response system. A survey regarding perceptions of mobile-based polling was administered to students enrolled in undergraduate leadership courses with the purpose of understanding its importance on various aspects of student engagement. Results regarding their polling experiences indicated that students became highly engaged on three levels—behaviorally, emotionally, and cognitively. Additionally, survey responses suggested that students viewed mobile-based polling as viable for purposes outside of the classroom. Suggestions for using mobile-based polling for learning leadership concepts are also presented. The authors of this study not only present mobile-based polling as an emerging technology with advantages over traditional clickers, but as a pedagogical approach for increasing student engagement and as a tool for enhancing leadership skills.

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As Villanova University embarked on a new strategic plan in 2009, the Division of Student Life placed a renewed emphasis on co-curricular leadership education (Gigliotti, 2014, in press). This Application Brief will highlight one of the new student leadership initiatives, the Student Leadership Forum in Washington, DC. Referred throughout the paper as the Forum, this initiative provides an opportunity to engage students in an elevated level of conversation related to the intersection of leadership, ethics, and integrity within the context of our Nation’s Capital. The program encourages students to explore the connections between the University’s mission and their experiences as student leaders. Finally, by cultivating connections with alumni in the Washington, DC area, the Forum offers a model for alumni engagement in undergraduate leadership education.

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The purpose of this study was to determine the leadership practices needed to improve academic achievement and generate positive change in school organizations. The study was also conducted to provide insight to principal preparation programs and school districts about effective transformational leadership practices. A quantitative research method was used to achieve the survey study. Ninety-two teachers completed the Leadership Practices Inventory developed by Kouzes and Posner. Data was analyzed with the use of descriptive statistics and t-tests. The findings of the study indicate that (a) principals in high performing schools employ all leadership practices more frequently than principals in lower performing schools and (b) inspiring a shared vision and challenging the process are the two practices that have the biggest impact on student achievement. It is recommended that principal preparation programs incorporate Kouzes and Posner’s transformational leadership model into their curriculum in order to develop highly qualified school leaders.

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As district leaders consider professional learning opportunities for educators, mobilizing new thought and actions across an entire system is a vexing challenge. Classroom-based learning may unfortunately be viewed as juxtaposed to district-based learning. It becomes essential for district leaders to develop knowledge mobilization strategies which provide a framework for any district-wide focus or initiative. In doing so, opportunities for knowledge influencers to interact with each other at various levels of the educational system are intentionally enhanced, that is, at the classroom, school, and district levels. Knowledge creating groups are thereby encouraged to challenge the status quo and promote innovation.

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Though trauma survivors sometimes emerge as leaders in prosocial causes related to their previous negative or traumatic experiences, little is known about this transition, and limited guidance is available for survivors who hope to make prosocial contributions. To understand what enables trauma-inspired prosocial leadership development, the transition narratives of seven trauma-inspired leaders who varied by global region, primary language, gender, ethnicity, religion, trauma type, and leadership area were analyzed. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis in an exploratory study, participants’ transitional journeys were examined through analysis of their autobiographies. Critical findings included frequent references by all participants to perspective enlargement (reframing a problem or context) and resilience to the negative, apathetic, or retaliatory responses to the mission (possibly learned through resilience to trauma itself). This study explores posttraumatic leadership conceptually and makes suggestions for leadership development among trauma-inspired survivors.

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If leadership is a relationship between a leader and follower (Rost, 1991), why are we, as higher education faculty and practitioners, so focused on only one half of the equation: the leader? When we examine the countless research articles, books, and conferences, it is clear that more attention has been paid to leaders than followers. Followership, however, in recent decades, is beginning to get its share of attention (Raffo, 2013). As educators in colleges and universities, we are tasked with sculpting and feeding the minds of students that will soon lead our society and make change. While higher education institutions across the United States and Canada offer leadership programs, certificates, and education, there seems to be a disconnect: if leadership is a relationship between the leader and follower, why is there little or no education on followership (Smith, 2009)? There needs to be a shift in the way institutions support leadership education to ensure we are developing and graduating individuals that will shape our future in positive ways.

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© 2015 Association of Leadership Educators

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