Darin Eich, Ph.D., who first identified the attributes of successful student leadership programs in his Ph.D. research, and now helps campuses develop their leadership programs, had specific recommendations for those who are looking for ways to improve their retreats.
He believes that students learn best by doing-not by hearing or seeing, but by creating and implementing ideas.
For example, Eich recommends that instead of asking students to listen to people tell their leadership stories, or even asking students to recall their own leadership stories, instead, they should make a new story happen at the retreat.
For Eich, it’s all about hands-on leadership. That’s why he recommends that students first learn how to plan and run the retreat-and then do it.
Of course, they have to be equipped with tools and projects, and Eich shares many ideas that participants in the online seminar were able to take away, including:
+ How to do a “Leadership Problem-Learning Collage Project”
+ When to supplement with “Leadership Development Journals”
+ How to do a “Labyrinth Silent Walk Self-Discovery Reflection”
+ Create a new retreat or strengthen an existing one.
+ Structure a retreat that emphasizes learning and relationships.
+ Get better results without using lectures.
+ Improve retreat assessment and planning.
In the Leadership Education topic area, I focus on helping people to innovate the way they educate to enhance learning & development. It is based on my research and experience with leadership programs, and innovative education. These currently include blended programs based on Flip The Classroom style, as well as my book, Root Down & Branch Out: Best Practices For Leadership Development Programs.
Click here to see all programs in the Leadership Education topic area.