Leadership Education at the Junior School

One of the recommendations that came out of the CAIS Accreditation Report (February 2015) was to review leadership education at the Junior School. It’s fair to say that leadership education has historically been associated with leadership opportunities and not fully with leadership education. 

Embedding leadership education in the curriculum involves teaching and practicing teamwork, communication, sharing power, sharing information, self-inquiry, and collaboration, as happens in Civilization Week and the inquiry-based learning that goes on daily.

One example is the Grade 7 Science project where students, using limited materials, must work in teams to construct an apparatus to protect an egg when it is flung through the air at considerable height. There are no rules on how the apparatus is designed; the object is simply to have the egg land unharmed. Another example is the various games and role-playing exercises that have been introduced in HACE (Health and Career Education). One of the games introduced uses empathy toys. The object is for a student (the designated leader) to guide another student, who is blindfolded, to put together a wooden model. The exercise is designed to build empathy, but it also promotes communication, team-building, problem solving, and encouragement—all key skill sets and qualities of leadership. There are many more examples like this that occur at the school every day. 

The Junior School’s Scouting program also teaches a unit on leadership, which focuses on the importance of working in groups, protocols for running meetings, team dynamics, and problem solving. Scouts and Ventures are required to take on leadership roles with the Cubs and Beavers.

There are, of course, numerous opportunities where students can hone their leadership skills: on the practice field, with Wing Teams. More importantly, there are examples of leadership education going on every day in all subject areas. Going forward, the term “leadership” will be linked more formally into the curriculum so that we may recognize the skills and qualities it engenders.

We are still asking questions about leadership education. How do we measure our success in leadership education? What are students’ attitudes in relation to learning and using these skills in the classroom? How do we continue to have faculty incorporate these skills in the classroom? How do we link the Junior and Senior School together? What would a vision and mission statement look like for educational leadership at St. George’s? If you asked the boys, it would tie into the Core Values and speak to someone who makes a positive difference. 

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St. George’s School
Junior Campus: 3851 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada V6S 1T6
Senior Campus: 4175 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada V6S 1V1
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