Leadership Foundations

INVS 2919: Renewing Democracy in Schools and Communities
Course Description:
Examines concepts of activism, citizenship, democracy, power, and diversity through classroom discussions and participation in a local K-12 school's Public Achievement project. Through community-based partnerships, students will develop leadership skills; dialogue with diverse groups of people; identify multiple perspectives around controversial issues, and learn to use research and writing to articulate public problems and advocate for their solutions.

LEADERSHIP FOUNDATIONS OBJECTIVES:

Leadership foundations recognize that effective leadership, and followership, requires positive self-awareness, positive self-discipline, positive self-esteem, and a deep sense of integrity and moral reasoning.

  • Evaluate multiple ethical and moral reasoning theoretical perspectives

  • Construct an intrapersonal dialogue evaluating one's intellectual, social, and emotional strengths and weaknesses

  • Hypothesize one's likely response to challenging moral and ethical dilemmas

  • Evaluate and choose appropriate self-regulatory behaviors that enhance and improve one's life

Course Post:
Renewing Democracy introduced me to situations that tested my moral reasoning and my ethical decision making.  In this class, I got the opportunity to work with 4th and 5th graders at Columbine Elementary school.  Each week of the semester I would meet with the kids to talk about a specific issue in our community that they wanted to try to help.  My group chose animal abuse.  Every week I would come to the school with a prepared lesson plan.  I created lesson plans to make it easier to stay on task and to make sure that I was making progress with helping my group reach their final goal.  It was tough working with such young kids on a serious topic.  I was constantly having to think about what decision would be the most ethical.  At times, I was learning so much about each one of their personal values as well as they were learning about my personal values.  I lead my students through research tactics that helped them learn about animal abuse, what it is, where it is present, and how they can help.  I gave them the opportunity to think of their final project instead of me telling them what they should do.  This course taught me a lot about self-awareness and how important it is to understand what your true strengths and weaknesses are.  I learned that I naturally know how to control a crazy classroom.  For example, some students never wanted to listen but I was good at getting their attention right away and redirecting it to what the group was working on.