Experienced and Committed Practitioners
Students and stakeholders spoke consistently about the importance of teachers, facilitators, administrators, and staff members for student leadership development. Educational practitioners who are committed and experienced in working with students and teaching leadership had a very positive impact on students and modeled leadership practice. Practitioners emerged in forms other than the traditional one teacher leading a class. Guest leaders from the community as well as team-facilitated programs from a group of facilitators all played instrumental roles in advancing student learning and development.
Actions. Programs enact the experienced and committed practitioners attribute within their programs through two actions. First, programs hire student-centered educational practitioners as teachers and administrators to facilitate students’ leadership development. Second, programs create opportunities for leadership practitioners from a variety of fields and careers to serve as guest leaders, sharing their experiences through panels, discussions, and conversations with students.
Effects on students. Experienced and committed practitioners had two primary and distinct effects on students. First, students clarify and broaden their leadership thinking including assumptions of who a leader is and how a leader leads from observing practitioners. Second, students acquire a realness of how leadership can be used, supplemented by motivation to formulate a future vision for themselves from the guest leader real world practitioners.