How school can contribute to the development of leadership among young people

ElleLead was held on November 5th. This day allowed us to think about ways to promote the emergence of leadership among students, with special attention to young girls.

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On November 5, a full day for stakeholders in the education sector made it possible to reflect on ways to promote the emergence of leadership among students, with special attention to young girls. About 75 people attended this first edition, at the College Regina Assumpta in Montreal. The creator of the day, Marie-Andrée Croteau, told us about it last May in this interview.

Ms. Françoise Bertrand's opening conference set the stage to encourage reflection. According to her, leadership is learned and practiced, but above all it is linked to, motivated and inspired by passion. There is no miracle recipe to see it emerge, but we certainly have to create contexts to develop it. She thinks, among other things, of all the opportunities to push her limits, to dare, to take risks and, above all, to be yourself.

“Being yourself is the best path to success. "- Françoise Bertrand, 

Ms. Bertrand concluded in this regard by inviting those present to offer stimulating and authentic situations to young people in the school environment.

Two panels to pave the way for the work

Two panels were lived alternately, each followed by a working session by the participants. These discussions and reflections allowed ideas to be generated on the nature of leadership and the ways in which schools can encourage its development.

Stéphanie Dionne, from École branchée, led the first exchange. It featured very inspiring young women: Léa-Kate Marcotte, secondary 3 student fully engaged at the Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie, Alicia Belaiche, student at Collège André-Grasset in natural sciences, Marie-Ève Garbois, doctoral student in education at UQÀM and co-chair of Thèsez-vous ?, as well as Chloé Hamelin-Lalonde, school and community development advisor at Academos. Together, they recalled how many significant experiences have allowed them to develop their self-confidence, a determining factor in their opinion in the development of their leadership.

The second panel was moderated by Nancy Brousseau, Executive Director of the Federation of Private Education Institutions (FÉEP). This second exchange brought together women involved in the development of female leadership: Catherine Lapointe, primary school teacher at Coeur-Vaillant-Campanile school and member of the Order of Excellence in Education, Mélanie Thivierge, CEO of the Y des women of Montreal, Mélanie Bouchard, female leadership development coach and Jessika Valence, director of educational services at Pensionnat Saint-Nom-de-Marie, a private secondary school for young girls located in Montreal. Their recommendations were warmly applauded. They recalled the importance of offering a voice to young girls, of recognizing them through their differences in a context emphasizing benevolence.

Findings and recommendations at the end of the day

At the end of the day, the conclusion period made it possible to draw up observations and general recommendations. Participants seemed to agree that leadership develops. Although some panelists mentioned that they always had certain traits that can be attributed to leaders, they all had to develop their leadership through experiences. There is a nice parallel here to the concept of the growth mindset.

Also, participants identified different types of leadership. This can be professional, personal, family, etc. It can be positive or negative. It can be of the “bulldozer” type or rather quiet. One thing is certain, being a leader does not mean taking ALL the place, but knowing how to take HIS place.

One detail to remember, we raised several times during the day the fact that leadership can emerge more easily in a context of success. This is a very interesting track as far as young people are concerned, with specific adaptations for girls.

Create contexts favorable to the emergence of leadership

And how can we create favorable contexts for the emergence of leadership among young people in general, and girls in particular? A few avenues for acting on the environment have been identified:

  • involve boys, parents, the community (continue to break down stereotypes, for example);
  • distinguish between accountability and autonomy in our expectations of students (accountability leaves room for the use of means different than those traditionally employed to achieve educational goals, while the second is more related to learning a routine );
  • promote learning activities that allow students to discover and exploit their passions (through volunteering and personal projects, among others);
  • present female models;
  • create girls-only moments;
  • explicitly teach leadership, offer tools to young people.

Words to remember:

  • Space (create the space, the context necessary for the leadership to emerge)
  • Human (the attention and support given to the person, the network, the passion are at the heart of all these actions)

See you on April 5, 2019

The organizing committee of the day, made up of Marie-Andrée Croteau, Marie-Andrée Delorme, Nancy Brousseau, Stéphanie Dionne and Audrey Miller, hopes that this day will encourage the school community to take action, to take concrete actions in order to promote the development of the leadership of young girls.

And if you participated in this day, you will receive an email reminder from the organizing committee to remind you to take action.

Traces of the day

Several traces of the day are available online. First, here is a summary diagram of this day:

To feed your thoughts and inspire you to take action, consult the many traces of the participants on the various questions worked on. on this wall Padlet.

Fait avec Padlet

Finally, a cloud of keywords was created at the end of the day using the Answer Garden tool to share the elements promoting the development of female leadership:

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About the Author

Audrey Millerhttps://ecolebranchee.com
General manager of École branchée, Audrey holds a graduate degree in educational technologies and a bachelor's degree in public communication. Member of the Order of Excellence in Education of Quebec, she is particularly interested in the professional development of teachers, information in the digital age and media education, while actively creating bridges between the actors of the educational ecosystem since 1999. She is involved these days in particular in Edteq Association and as a member of the ACELF Communications Committee. When she has free time, she is passionate about her children, his rabbits, horses, good wine and... Web programming!

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