Thesis Title

Student Leadership Education in Elementary Classrooms

Graduation Date

Summer 2010

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD

Abstract

As I began my career as a teacher, I assumed leadership education would naturally be integrated into the elementary classroom curriculum because I was intrigued by this topic. However, as I spent more time in the classroom I quickly realized leadership skills were not part of regular classroom learning or practice for elementary age students. I became concerned because I believe that in our fast-paced, evolving society our youth need the strategies and skills to “tackle the major issues” we face (Hickman, 1996).

In the twenty-first century, there is a lack of opportunities for young children in elementary school classrooms to practice leadership skills. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify the research that has been undertaken on the subject and assess the viability on the topic. Only two published resources were found that address the potential for leadership education at the elementary school level.

The lack of literature on leadership education in the elementary grades was combined with a general sentiment among practitioners and leadership experts that there is a need for leadership skills to be taught in elementary classrooms. The most effective way to promote these skills to elementary school students is by providing ample exposure and practice in the classroom. This project illuminates the fact that leadership skills are desperately needed in the elementary classroom because students are not being prepared with the tools needed in the twenty-first century.

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