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ERIC Number: EJ818172
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
The Development of Compassionate and Caring Leadership among Adolescents
Martinek, Tom; Schilling, Tammy; Hellison, Don
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v11 n2 p141-157 Jun 2006
Background: Fostering the innate need to lead, teach and care for others is fundamental to creating a just and moral society. The nurturing begins early in life and becomes especially vital during the adolescent years, when peer pressure and the need to belong are heightened. Unfortunately, many youths believe leadership is associated with being good-looking, athletic, wealthy or smart. Leadership development is viewed differently, as an inclusive process where everyone can be a leader. Purpose: To describe how youth leadership evolved in two education programs serving low-income minority youth. Both programs are designed to foster leadership qualities in adolescent youth. They provide opportunities for "veteran" program participants to develop leadership skills by teaching sport and life skills to younger kids from various community agencies and programs. Many youth leaders attend one of the local schools, while some are either in alternative schools or pursuing a General Education Development Certificate (GED). Participants and settings: One of the programs operates at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and the other at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The program at UNCG is called the Youth Leader Corps program. The one at UIC is called the Apprentice Teacher Program. Research design: A description of program participants' previous involvement in values-based sport clubs during their elementary and middle school years is provided. The clubs provided the initial leadership experiences that prepared them to take on larger leadership roles. Four developmental stages of youth leadership are proposed. These stages are: (1) needs-based leadership; (2) focusing on planning and teaching; (3) reflective leadership; and (4) compassionate leadership. Data collection: Numerous data sources were used--one was interviews (focus and individual) with youth leaders, their assistants, campers and program leaders, another was the leaders' written reflections of their teaching. A leader's assistant provided written (and oral) feedback to the leaders after each lesson. A final source of data came from the program leaders' field notes and informal interactions between the leaders and staff. Data analysis: Case studies were presented showing each stage of leadership development. The extent that certain issues impact adolescent growth across these stages is also described. Findings: Four case studies illustrating each of the four stages are presented. The four cases illustrate the transformation of adolescents from being self-serving participants to being caring and compassionate leaders. The ability to progress through these stages is related to the youth leaders' personal needs and their levels of moral development. Conclusions: The youth leaders sometimes regressed to a lower stage of leadership, but they also sometimes moved beyond their current stage to an advanced stage. It was also evident that their personal lives greatly influenced their comfort in extending their leadership and compassion to younger participants. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A