Student leadership in the middle years: A matter of concern

Student leadership in the middle years: A matter of concern Traditionally, student leadership has been seen as the prerogative of senior students. Very little research has been conducted on how schools nurture and develop leadership skills in students in the middle years of schooling. This article provides an overview of student leadership in six secondary schools with a particular focus on student leadership opportunities in the middle years. These schools were drawn from the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors in Western Australia. Specifically, the opinions and experiences of either principals or their delegates were sought in order to develop a sense of the importance placed on student leadership in the middle years and the types of leadership opportunities available to students. Initially, the literature is reviewed on student leadership per se and student leadership in the middle years. This review is followed by an outline of the purpose, research question and significance of the research. The research methodology is then explained, providing a summary of participants, the school contexts and methods of data collection and analysis. The subsequent section on results and discussion highlights three themes: the role of teacher leaders, student leadership structures in middle years and the holistic development of middle year students. The article concludes by providing a number of recommendations, in particular, the need to gain a ‘student voice’ in any understanding of student leadership at the middle school. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Improving Schools SAGE

Student leadership in the middle years: A matter of concern

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2017
ISSN
1365-4802
eISSN
1475-7583
D.O.I.
10.1177/1365480217732223
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Traditionally, student leadership has been seen as the prerogative of senior students. Very little research has been conducted on how schools nurture and develop leadership skills in students in the middle years of schooling. This article provides an overview of student leadership in six secondary schools with a particular focus on student leadership opportunities in the middle years. These schools were drawn from the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors in Western Australia. Specifically, the opinions and experiences of either principals or their delegates were sought in order to develop a sense of the importance placed on student leadership in the middle years and the types of leadership opportunities available to students. Initially, the literature is reviewed on student leadership per se and student leadership in the middle years. This review is followed by an outline of the purpose, research question and significance of the research. The research methodology is then explained, providing a summary of participants, the school contexts and methods of data collection and analysis. The subsequent section on results and discussion highlights three themes: the role of teacher leaders, student leadership structures in middle years and the holistic development of middle year students. The article concludes by providing a number of recommendations, in particular, the need to gain a ‘student voice’ in any understanding of student leadership at the middle school.

Journal

Improving SchoolsSAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2018

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