By Daniel Curry
We all want to see our children grow up to be leaders wherever they are – in their workplace, in their homes, and in their communities. So how does the school shape that leadership? Do schools in Gurgaon focus on leadership development or just academics?
Certainly, the best schools in Gurgaon incorporate soft skills as well as academics. Leadership can be expressed even in very young children, and can be developed over time. It is a skill that with practice will improve. How does this look in schools?
Students in progressive schools are not passive recipients of lectures but active participants. As they solve problems, they work through what we call ‘productive struggle’. They learn to apply their knowledge, face difficulties, and persevere. This is a huge boost to self-confidence and self-assurance, and as they grow, they encounter ever-more challenging problems/projects/topics. With the confidence and skills to tackle the unknown, they have mastered fundamental leadership skills.
Leadership doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The top schools in Gurgaon ensure that students collaborate as they work together to solve problems. Again, from an early age they are building their soft skills of collaboration. They learn how to navigate different personalities, priorities and opinions with a focus on getting to a solution. Problem based learning creates the perfect environment for both academic mastery and personal growth. Leading others requires this kind of skill and experience.
In addition, students need to have opportunities and practice with public speaking and presentation. One of the fundamental components of Problem based learning is presenting to a public audience. When students are required to present their findings to an outside audience, they build confidence and become comfortable in front of others. Having to present publicly also guarantees that the student understands and can explain what they have learned. This happens in student-led conferences regularly at a top school in Gurgaon like Vega.
Other opportunities include participating in activities like Model United Nations where students learn to debate and discuss. They learn how to persuade others, and they learn how to listen and learn from others. These are critical leadership skills.
Students also may decide to participate in the student council where they can experience leadership on a small scale as they seek to improve their school and represent the concerns of their school community. Many roles exist for students wanting to spread their wings and apply what they have learned during their school experience.
One important aspect of leadership is that we want leaders to look out for the interests of others and of their community. Character values like empathy and a sense of service are embedded into both the culture and curriculum of a top school. Projects and learning outcomes should seek to solve meaningful problems impacting their community. Projects on endangered species, poverty, climate issues, and discrimination allow for application of academic skills as well as development of sensitivity and care for others in the world.
Students who have these experiences throughout their school years will become confident, competent, and caring leaders wherever they go in life.
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