Rationale & Foundations

Why have leadership class?

Even with the current concentration on standards and making annual yearly progress, more and more schools are offering leadership classes to their students. Leadership class:

  • Develops leadership skills now and for the future
  • Prepares students to take leadership roles in the school and community
  • Prepares students for the workforce
  • Promotes good citizenship.

Who takes leadership class?

Schools are varied in terms of who takes leadership class.  In some places, leadership class is where the elected student body officers meet on a daily basis to work on school projects and the duties of office.  In others, leadership class is offered to any student who wants to sign up for it, and can be offered as a business, social studies, or communications elective.  In still others, classes can be a combination of elected students and those who apply and are selected.

What does leadership class consist of?

Leadership curriculum also varies from place to place.  Some states have state-approved curriculum, while others leave it up to individual districts to create the curriculum for their classes. There is no universal set of standards or objectives for leadership class, but there are elements that are commonly included:

  • Self-esteem/Self Image
  • Leadership Styles
  • Goal Setting
  • Organization
  • Project Planning
  • Meeting Skills
  • Citizenship
  • Civic Awareness
  • Ethics
  • Diversity Awareness
  • Group Process/Group Dynamics
  • Teambuilding
  • Conflict Resolution/Conflict Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Decision Making
  • Communication
  • Community Service
  • Evaluation

Where can I find some examples of leadership curriculum?

Leadership curriculum examples from Canada A listing of the leadership curricula from several schools in Canada.

Leadership for 21st Century (State of Virginia) A Leadership Development Curriculum for Virginia Public Schools

Student Leadership  The Texas Association of Student Councils and Secondary School Principals have developed a student leadership course that is approved by the State Board of Education for state graduation elective credit.

Washington Student Leadership's goals and objectives,  an excellent program used at AWSP's leadership camps.

Arizona Association of Student Councils has a set of Student Leadership/Student Council Curriculum Standards.

Student Leadership Standards developed by the executive directors of the student council associations of each of the 10 states of Region 7 of the National Association of Student Councils.

Student Leadership Portfolio:  The list of requirements for NASC's Certified Student Leader program could easily become the basis for objectives for a leadership class.

Philanthropy curriculum standards can be found on The Learning to Give website.

Leadership to Go:  This website has links to several examples of leadership curricula.

Wisconsin Youth Leadership Skill Standards Certificate Program has a well-developed leadership rubric based on leadership standards, as well as a variety of resources.