Volume 15, Issue 1 -- 2016

A successful component of programs designed to deliver youth leadership develop programs are youth educators who understand the importance of utilizing research-based information and seeking professional development opportunities. The purpose of this study was to determine youth educator’s perceived confidence in leading youth leadership development programs. Study objectives included describing types of youth leadership development training received by youth educators, describing the number of hours of youth leadership development training received by youth educators, describing the perceived importance of youth leadership development training received by youth educators, describing youth leadership development training delivery mode preferences of youth educators, determining if the addition of hours of training received and the perception of the importance of youth leadership training improved the prediction of perceived confidence beyond that provided by differences in selected demographic variables (gender, age, years of service, education level, office location). The target population for this study was southern region 4-H youth development educators. Results of this study indicate that perceived importance of youth leadership development training is predictive of youth educator’s confidence level in teaching youth leadership development.

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The purpose of our research was to use Day, Harrison, and Halpin’s, (2009) theory of leadership development as a premise to investigate how students’ constructive development is related to their leader identity development and understanding of leadership. Baxter Magolda’s Model of Epistemological Reflection (MER, 1988, 2001) was used to understand constructive development, Komives, Owen, Longerbeam, Mainella, & Osteen’s Leadership Identity Development (2005) to determine leader identity, and Drath’s principles of leadership (2001) to determine understanding of leadership. Fifty junior and senior college student leaders filled out the MER and participated in an interview about their leadership experiences. Interviews were coded according to the above constructs of leader identity development and leadership understanding. Although there was a relationship between leader identity development and understanding of leadership, no relationship was found between these two constructs and
constructive development. Findings suggest that most of the student leaders still depend on others to help them construct reality. Furthermore, many believe that because they are in a leadership role, they are leaders while others are not.

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As teachers of leadership, we have noticed that our students often get “stuck” thinking about leadership in overly simplistic ways that dichotomize task and relationship-orientations, often resulting in overly simplistic understandings of leadership processes. In this reflective essay, we draw upon two approaches to leadership theory—leadership psychology and discursive leadership—to consider why the leadership dichotomy occurs and provide ideas for how leadership instructors might restructure and refocus their courses to help students transcend it to develop more reflexive, contextualized understandings of leadership. We suggest four ideas for innovating leadership pedagogy: 1) rethink the typical chronological organization, 2) challenge students to identify leadership myths, 3) engage students in applied leadership contexts, and 4) emphasize leadership as a communicative practice.

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Leadership development among postsecondary students can occur through a variety of experiences; one such experience is a leadership minor. The purpose of this descriptive interpretive study was to analyze students’ experiences while enrolled in a leadership minor with a focus on exploring evidence of leadership identity development. By exploring the leadership identity development of students enrolled in a leadership minor, we sought to provide valuable information for professionals within postsecondary leadership education offering, or planning to offer a leadership minor. Our analysis revealed changes in the leadership identity and skill development of students involved in the leadership minor. Implications and recommendations for leadership development programs, specifically leadership minors, are discussed.

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This application brief shares Phase One of an action research project for the Association of Leadership Educators. This project demonstrates how a member-based association can successfully engage its members in terms of identifying needs, defining strategic priorities, and detecting resource development opportunities. This body of work has various implications for leadership and leadership education and provides a model that other associations can replicate to engage in resource development.

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The LeaderShape Institute is a popular immersion-based leadership program that is hosted on dozens of university campuses and conducted nationally each year. As part of a comprehensive research effort, a sample of 1,279 students at 21 participating institutions completed a pre-test prior to participating, as well as a post-test immediately after and a followup test three to four months later. Tests included measures of leadership skills, leadershiporiented self-efficacy, motivation to lead, and motivation to advocate for social issues. Results suggest students make gains in skill, confidence, and motivation to advocate for social issues, but that not all gains emerged similarly across social identity groups. Several differences emerged when comparing gains measured from pre-test to post-test and gains that included follow-up tests. This study provides support for the effectiveness of the LeaderShape Institute, and possesses several implications for the methods used in assessing the development of leadership capacity.

INVITED PAPER- RECOGNIZED AS OUTSTANDING RESEARCH PAPER 2015 ASSOCIATION OF LEADERSHIP EDUCATORS CONFERENCE

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Utilizing film as a teaching tool in a personal leadership development course helped undergraduate students synthesize authentic leadership concepts. Iron Jawed Angels facilitated the culminating lesson as students applied course concepts to an observed leader. Three objectives guided the final lesson: (a) critique Alice Paul’s leadership as it relates to the components of the Discovering Leadership framework described in Discovering the Leader in You, (b) identify key film scenes, quotes, and characters, applying them to course concepts and Alice Paul, and (c) analyze Alice Paul’s leadership as it relates to authentic leadership development. Four class meetings were designated for the final lesson. Students viewed the film on days one and two, and days three and four were spent identifying, critiquing, and analyzing Alice Paul’s leadership.

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This exploratory, qualitative study examined the reflective learning environment in an undergraduate leadership certificate. Undergraduate students (n = 14) were interviewed twice in order to understand if and how reflection, as a pedagogical tool, supported student learning. Learning about reflection, and practicing reflection regularly, introduced students to the importance of a reflective practice for understanding their leadership development. Students highlighted aspects of the Leadership Certificate courses that contributed to their reflective practice and enhanced their learning environment. These included discussion-based courses, physical setting for the certificate classes, diverse peers, and certificate instructors. As a result, engaging in reflection as part of leadership courses helped students develop self-awareness.

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This application brief describes a “Module Discussant” activity assigned in an online graduate-level leadership theory course. The assignment was designed to stimulate higher-level thinking, apply leadership theory to practice, and foster extensive communication among students in the online learning environment using a common learning management tool—the online discussion forum. This brief presents leadership educators with perspectives from two professors who coordinated the assignment, as well as the perspective of a graduate student participating in the activity. The professors and students involved report that the assignment resulted in compelling levels of engagement and critical thinking. Recommendations for future use and for enhancing the quality of the assignment are also offered.

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In response to the National Leadership Education Agenda, this application brief furthers priority one, addressing the teaching, learning, and curriculum development of leadership education. The ability of students to demonstrate leadership outcome mastery in areas of communication, self-awareness, interpersonal interactions, and civic responsibility (Seemiller, 2014), is valued across disciplines. Socratic Circles provide a structured discussion learning strategy based on Socratic pedagogy (Copeland, 2005), beneficial to the practice of leadership outcomes. Discussed are descriptions of implementation methods; outcomes related to Seemiller’s (2014) Student Leadership Competencies; and practitioner reflections of the use of Socratic Circles in college level leadership courses.

INVITED PAPER- RECOGNIZED AS OUTSTANDING PRACTICE PAPER 2015 ASSOCIATION OF LEADERSHIP EDUCATORS CONFERENCE

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Hoyt and Kennedy (2008) asserted that women deal with messages related to appearance, behavior, and leadership identity that promote a loss of voice starting at a young age. More specifically, these societal messages and expectations convey constructs of effective leadership that are often associated with men (Eagly & Carli, 2003; Eagly & Karau, 2002; Koenig, Eagly, Mitchell, & Ristikari, 2011). In a meta-analysis on leadership perceptions, men were perceived as more agentic and women were perceived as more communal. Further, agentic qualities were perceived to be leadership qualities and communal qualities were not (Koenig et al., 2011). While these perceptions of “think manager, think male” (Schein, 2001) have evolved, women still hold only 29% of executive or senior level positions among private industry (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2012), which is disproportional to the general population. What underlies the problem of disproportional representation among women leaders is that women are judged differently as leaders. Progress has been made, but overall discrimination for women leaders still exists (Duehr & Bono, 2006; Eagly, 2007; Schein, 2001).

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The use of high-impact practices is well documented in higher education literature. This brief describes the integrative practice of undergraduate peer-led leadership learning communities as a model of delivery within a large introductory leadership education course for first-year students. Utilizing open-ended questions embedded within end-of-semester teaching evaluation surveys, we analyzed students’ perceptions of the learning community experience and the peer leader’s role. Our findings illustrate how peer leaders play a critical role in fostering a vibrant leadership learning community, which contributes to students’ positive perceptions of their own leadership learning and development.

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In a world where more and more emphasis is being put on the importance of teaching leadership skills to work ready undergraduate students, instructors are often met with the challenge of finding current, engaging, real world examples to use in their classrooms. In the case of this application, the instructors propose the use of the characters and video clips from current Fox Network television show Glee to aid in the instruction of Blake & Mouton’s Leadership Grid during a larger discussion of leadership styles.

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This study examined the effectiveness of a 4.5-day service leadership program for students from Chinese universities using objective outcome evaluation. The participants were assessed before and after the program, with two post-test measurements (immediate assessment and assessment 12 days after the completion of class learning). At pretest and two posttest time points, the participants completed a questionnaire measuring positive youth development, service leadership qualities and beliefs, and life satisfaction. Results showed that students’ performance in both the immediate posttest and follow-up test was better than that in the pretest. Despite the limitations of the one-group pretest-posttest design, results suggest that the curricular-based service leadership program was effective to promote students’ positive youth development, service leadership qualities and beliefs, as well as life satisfaction, and the effectiveness maintained a short period after the class had ended. While the existing findings are promising, these findings should be replicated in the future.

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In a qualitative study assessing students’ perceptions of faculty-student interaction in the online learning environment, findings demonstrated that students make meaning of facultystudent
interaction in ways that align with authentic leadership behaviors. Faculty interaction, or lack thereof, shaped students’ perceptions of faculty authenticity and commitment to students’
learning outcomes. Students indicated satisfaction in their leadership learning experience when instructors were perceived as authentic in their actions.
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© 2015 Association of Leadership Educators

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