Content Area Reading #8 – You Go Girl

“Teaching Leadership to Girls: Action Examples from Eight Schools” by Sue Baldwin, Heidi Kasevich, Stacey Kertsman, Kathryn Jasper, Regina Rosi, Kristin Ryan, David Sahr, Koyen Parikh Shah, and Sarah Wolf.

Social Education 80(1), pp 58–61, 64. 2016 National Council for the Social Studies

I chose to read this article because I found it while browsing through the NCSS database, and was interested when I saw the title.

This article looks at examples of eight different schools that have incorporated leadership training for female students into its curriculum through speakers, programming, and community service opportunities.  The examples from the schools fall within the following leadership themes: developing skills in planning and problem solving, the skill of self-assessment and assessing one’s relationship to others, guiding and mentoring roles, and evaluating and dealing with community problems. The authors argue the importance of teaching leadership skills to young women – doing so will help us continue to overcome gender inequity in society.


3 things I want to remember:

  • 1. Components of leadership training: communication (sharing ideas, making suggestions, setting examples, showing others how to get things done), skills in planning and problem solving, self-assessment skills, experience in guiding and mentor roles, understanding community problems, taking calculated risks, managing conflicts without fear, conducting successful negotiations
  • 2. Cultural and legal barriers that should be addressed in a class, especially for girls – stereotype-threats, the objectification of women in the media, inadequate maternity and childcare legislation
  • 3. Mentoring – the idea of matching a mentor with a mentee and having daily online journaling to share their experiences and thoughts with one another (could help overcome barriers with distance/lack of physical availability – students can still have strong support network even online).

2 controversial things:

  • 1. Leadership being integrated into a school’s curriculum. I agree that it should be, at least in some form, but more traditional educators would likely disagree – incorporating leadership into curriculum would take away valuable time from teaching the different subjects. The question is, though, do we value content over skills?
  • 2. Is leadership born or made? Some might argue that all students have the potential to be great leaders, while others believe that it takes certain innate skills and personality traits in order to be a good leader.

1 question:

  • 1. How can you institute programming/speakers/conferences if your school does not have a budget for such activities?
Content Area Reading #8 – You Go Girl

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