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 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.