Students Encounter Episodes of Difference: Contexts, people, and ways of leading
The importance of the notion of difference was one of the intriguing findings of this study. It was surprising to students that they had learned so much from this new route. In many different ways, students and practitioners identified an experience with difference as a powerful catalyst for student learning and development. Students encountered different people, cultures, settings, organizations, and leadership contexts first-hand through the program. This first-hand encounter was a beneficial spark for many students’ learning.
Actions. Students encounter episodes of difference is made tangible in leadership programs in two ways. First, programs expose students to different situations, contexts, cultures, groups, and people through their stories and program activities. Second, programs give students opportunities to practice different ways of leading, leadership roles, and engage with others with different leadership styles.
Effects on students. Students encounter episodes of difference includes three outcomes for participants. First, students gain eye opening new perspectives of which they were unaware through experiences and sharing in discussions with people different from them. Second, students learn different ways of leading through witnessing different leadership styles. Third, students become more open minded and less quick to judge while reconciling their worldview and realizing how much there is to learn.