How to Develop Leadership Skills in Students

It’s true that some people are natural leaders — their personalities allow them to effectively guide others and set an example for those around them. But it’s also worth noting that there is a leader inside every person. By developing leadership skills in students at OWIS, we allow every child to discover their self-worth, become more confident and learn how to take on the challenge and excitement of leadership positions.

9 Strategies for Developing Leadership Skills in Students

There are many lessons and activities for developing leadership skills in students that teachers can use in the classroom. These are some of the most effective strategies for naturally developing leadership skills in students.

  • Providing Leadership Opportunities in the Classroom 

Leadership skills in school cannot simply be taught as part of a lesson plan; they have to be developed through hands-on learning. One of the best ways to do this is to offer students opportunities to become leaders within the classroom setting. Assigning tasks within the classroom, allowing students to be elected as classroom representatives or giving them a chance to take turns running the morning meeting are a few ways students can take on leadership positions in their classrooms.

  • Relying on Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is a collaborative learning experience that puts students in charge of the process and the outcome. In this learning model, students work as a team to reach a common goal, allowing them to take accountability for their part of the project, learn how to delegate tasks among a group and discover how to develop an effective presentation. One of the best examples of our students’ showcase of their project work and taking ownership of their own learning is the annual IB PYP Exhibition.

  • Giving Students a Chance to Resolve Conflict on Their Own

It’s very tempting for adults to step in when children disagree with each other. However, the best way for students to develop effective conflict-resolution skills is to be given the space and freedom to solve their disagreements on their own. In some cases, guidance may be necessary, but allowing students to experience conflict and work to resolve it is one of the best ways to hone their leadership skills.

  • Highlighting Examples of Effective Leadership

Whether a teacher is developing a science lesson or working on the curriculum for an art history course, they can find opportunities to profile influential leaders in those areas. Children of all ages often learn best by example, and showing them the impact a true leader can have will highlight the importance of developing those skills. At OWIS, we also invite parents into the classroom to share their experiences and the challenges they may have faced in their lives. 

  • Teaching Students the Skill of Active Listening

A good leader knows how to listen effectively to those around them, but active listening is a skill that needs to be developed over time. Teachers can provide students with opportunities to become better listeners by developing partner-based assignments and encouraging them to present their work afterwards. Q&A sessions following a classroom presentation are an excellent way for students to improve their listening and public speaking skills.

  • Setting a Positive Example in the School Community

Teachers, administrators and staff members can model what leadership looks like in the school setting, giving students an example to look up to as they develop their leadership style. Adult leaders in the school should draft clear policies, enforce them consistently and fairly and always be open to feedback from stakeholders in the community.

  • Encouraging Students to Participate in Extracurricular Activities and School Events

When students find a niche group that they enjoy being a part of, they will often feel more comfortable and confident in pursuing leadership positions. Whether they join a club or try out for a sports team, they will find it easy to take on leadership roles when it involves something they are passionate about.

  • Guiding Students Rather Than Providing Step-by-Step Instruction

The most effective teachers are those who know how to facilitate learning in the classroom environment rather than provide students with explicit instructions. By giving students an opportunity to try — and fail — teachers are actually imparting more than knowledge acquisition alone.

  • Giving Students Manageable Responsibilities in the Classroom and Across Campus

Making students responsible gives them a sense of ownership. A child who is responsible for maintaining the classroom library will understand the pride in caring about their environment. They will feel naturally inclined to keep it clean and tidy and encourage their classmates to treat the library with respect. These manageable responsibilities are the first stepping stones towards becoming a leader.

How OWIS Can Help Your Child to Hone Your Leadership Skills

At OWIS, our teachers know how to encourage students to develop leadership skills in a way that is both effective and exciting. At the primary school level, we believe in empowering our students and encouraging them to take on new challenges each day. Our open-concept classrooms allow for discussion-based learning, and our students are proud to be responsible for their learning experience.

Primary students are often assigned a classroom job, which gives them a chance to take ownership of a task and develop those natural leadership skills. Classroom jobs include book monitor, caboose monitor and more.

Secondary school students are given increased responsibility and are often invited to participate in high-level leadership activities. For instance, Secondary students who are elected to the student council plan activities, perform community service and serve as leaders for the entire school community. They are able to put their well-developed leadership skills into action, ultimately preparing them for life after graduation.

Transform Your Child Into a Leader at OWIS Singapore

At OWIS Singapore, our goal is to provide every student with the skills-based education they need to thrive in a global economy, and that includes the soft skills that are associated with being effective and responsible leaders.

With a deep sense of cultural awareness and an acute understanding of social responsibility, students at OWIS Singapore are poised to become the leaders of tomorrow. At One World International School, your child will be able to cultivate their sense of curiosity as they identify their strengths and learn how to use creative leadership skills in real-world settings effectively.

Contact us today to learn more about our holistic learning environment and skills-based curriculum.


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