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Dolan, R.
“Today’s Youth, Today’s Leaders and Citizens”. An exploration of the effect of youth leadership training on senior cycle pupils.
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This study focuses on youth leadership as one way in which students within the school community are encouraged to be involved in the school and the effects of this involvement on them. It discusses the styles of leadership utilised and the views of youth on leadership. It considers the characteristics of a leader as defined by adolescents and the potential opportunities for involvement as perceived by the adolescent. Research conducted with participants in a youth leadership training programme forms the basis for discussion. Research conducted with a school not involved in the programme allows a basis for attitudinal comparisons. The methods employed for data gathering include questionnaires, interviews with key personnel and a focus group discussion. Findings include a description of leadership characteristics based upon personality, physical traits and work ethos. Participation in leadership programmes is influential in opinion formation, development of self-esteem and an increased sense of belonging to the school community. In addition, it provides a model for citizenship and democratic involvement. There is an increase in skills at both personal and interpersonal levels and an improved understanding of the school structure and personnel.
NUI Maynooth
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