Volume 15, Issue 3 -- 2016

This application brief provides pedagogical strategies for teaching and learning about women and leadership as a potentially sensitive subject, with emphasis on creating an intellectually safe learning environment. Findings from a study of students’ expectations and experiences with a Women and Leadership course showed that the strategies affected students’ learning experiences. Some strategies also challenged the instructor as a woman leader.

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Leadership content and pedagogical strategies are fundamental to health professionals’ education. All health professionals must be able to lead effectively and
thrive in today’s complex health systems. Students must be involved in meaningful didactic and experiential leadership development early in their academic progression, and educators are positioned to lead in this initiative. This paper describes pre-post findings from an application of Kouzes and Posner’s Student Leadership Practices Inventory with students who completed an interdisciplinary undergraduate leadership development program and observers’ perspectives of these students’ leadership characteristics. Outcome data found positive change in pre-post data except for encourage the heart for the student participants and challenges others for the observers. Critical reflection and authentic assessment of actions that occurred during the leadership program could have shifted students’ realization of behaviors they actually did not demonstrate as originally thought at the beginning of the program. Observers’ scores tended to be higher than students’ scores; however, minimal change in posttest scores could be attributed to not using the same observers for the pre and post assessments.

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This study investigates the leadership tenets informing veterans’ work as school leaders. Drawing on 15 interviews and surveys with military veterans working as educational leaders, the study relies on Stake’s (2006) case study method to substantiate assertions that veterans: 1) come into education without the support of a transitional program, 2) are committed to taking care of their people, 3) have a strong belief in service, 4) are influenced by leadership that they have witnessed, and 5) are equipped to manage delegating and accountability by virtue of military experiences.

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TED Talks are short videos of experts talking about a variety of topics. This paper outlines six TED Talks that connect with the leadership literature and topics commonly taught with an explanation of how they enhance teaching about a corresponding leadership topic. The researcher shares how introducing TED talks related to leadership can stimulate critical thinking about leadership while keeping the class interesting.

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We explored the potential of the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education as a tool for enhancing mindfulness, body awareness, and perceptions of transformational leadership capacities among college students. The intervention consisted of thirty-two, 1.25-hour long group sessions taught by a certified Feldenkrais instructor twice weekly to 21 undergraduates in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre of a southwestern state university. Students also were required to keep a journal in which they reflected on how they felt prior to and after each class, and then recorded three additional entries during the week with observations about their experiences with thinking, sensing, feeling, and moving. Repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted to assess changes in levels of mindfulness, body
awareness, and perceived leadership capacities using standardized scales administered at study baseline, midterm, and end of term. Over the semester, students evidenced significantly greater mindfulness, body awareness, and a domain of transformational leadership measuring empathy, controlling for their level of stress at the time of final exams. To meet the needs of today’s college students, our results suggest that the Feldenkrais Method shows promise as an intervention to promote mindfulness, body awareness, and empathic leadership.

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This Application Brief highlights Seattle University’s Red Winged Leadership (RWL) exercise, an innovative curriculum for graduate business leadership education. RWL requires students to apply course materials to a visible and challenging class project, and to critically examine and recognize leadership in the broader community. Both allow for development and execution of problem solving, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills necessary to lead successfully. Students are given an opportunity to develop self-awareness of their leadership style, practice how to be an effective leader, use interpersonal skills to manage relationships, design a team structure, and execute a project. We recommend that instructors use the RWL as a template for graduate students to bridge the transition from learning leadership theories to applying them.

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This qualitative exploratory study focuses on the leadership experiences of college men who held leadership roles in campus organizations. The researchers examined the students’ experiences of leading their organizations and group members and the students’ perceptions of gender roles influencing their leadership practice. Four male participants at a medium-sized, religiously-affiliated university engaged in in-depth interviews and a focus group with the researchers, who used a blend of qualitative approaches to conduct the study and analyze the data. Key themes emerged around a balance between task and relationship-building; the distinction between power and influence; a desire to do better; understanding leadership as generative; and resisting the masculine/feminine leadership dichotomies. Implications are presented for professional practice and research.

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Assessment of student learning in graduate education often takes the form of a summative measure by way of written comprehensive exams. However, written examinations, while suitable for evaluating cognitive knowledge, may not fully capture students’ abilities to transfer and apply leadership related knowledge and skills into real-world practice. This application brief describes a new form of comprehensive exam in the form of an e-portfolio process, and how an institution has turned a common assessment management tool into an instrument for learning. This brief offers the perspectives of two professors who developed and assessed the student projects, as well as a graduate student who has completed the process. Recommendations for future use to enhance the quality of the experience are also discussed.

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First-year college students in a leadership-themed living-learning community (N= 60) at Texas A&M University were surveyed to examine if participation in the learning community influenced their leadership mindset using hierarchical and systemic thinking preferences. Utilizing a pre-test and post-test methodology, significant differences for hierarchical thinking were not found; however, significant differences for systemic thinking were found. At the end of the program year, students had larger systemic scores than when they started the program, but their hierarchical thinking scores remain fairly steady. Findings indicated that participation in a
leadership-themed living-learning community influenced students’ leadership mindsets.

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This study investigates the perceptions of leadership of African American undergraduate males who attend a predominately-White institution in the Southwest
after participation in a leadership development program. Research concerning African American undergraduate males in education has been from a deficit-orientated narrative and focused primarily on academic achievement or lack of involvement, with little attention paid to African American males performing leadership. As society continues to focus on graduation and college attendance by African American males, it is important to explore African American undergraduate male leadership as a viable method to engage and influence graduation and attendance. This study examines the way in which African American undergraduate males make meaning and define leadership. Results indicated that African American undergraduate males defined leadership as either leader behaviors or specific characteristics that leaders possess. The study indicates a need for leadership educators and student affairs professionals to develop and implement a common language concerning leadership with student leader

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This research explores the various ways in which performative inquiry was implemented in a graduate organizational theories course within an educational leadership cohort at a mediumsized urban Canadian research university. Drawing on Fink’s framework for significant learning experiences, the researchers used performative inquiry to enact the “Practice” and “Reflection” domains of his pedagogical model. The data show that as the course unfolded, the class experienced a shift from instructor-centered transmission of information to a curriculum coconstructed by students and instructors. We conclude with ways in which educational leadership
professors can incorporate performative inquiry as a teaching strategy to enhance the learning process for aspiring educational leaders.

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Women’s leadership training programs provide organizations opportunities to value women leaders as organizational resources. This qualitative research utilized phenomenological methodology to examine lived experiences of seven alumni of a women’s-only leadership program. We conducted semi-structured interviews to clarify what learning elements were most beneficial in furthering an individuals’ leadership role. Emerging research themes included perceptional and personal agency changes within participants. Women’s leadership programs provided an opportunity for cognitive, affective, and behavioral growth; engaging learning activities, social capital development, and relational model methodologies were perceived as most helpful in leadership development. Action learning techniques, fostering
interconnectedness, and philosophical leadership development activities were critical elements in leadership development. Insights gained from this study provided perspective on the unique experiences of women in a leadership training program.

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The study’s purpose was to determine Extension agents’ (n= 111) perceived level of importance, knowledge, and training needs for leadership skills. Mean Weighted Discrepancy Scores were calculated to determine training needs. Participants’ perceived responses were average to above average importance for all skills; however, the participants’ perceived
responses were varied concerning knowledge for most skills. The five highest rated training needs were resolve conflict, efficiently manage time, assess community needs, effectively lead a team, and prioritize tasks. The only common training need by Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR), Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS), and 4-H agents was resolve conflict. Create vision was a training need only identified by FCS agents. The 4-H role needs were handle emotions and handle criticism.

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