What topics should be covered in a leadership programme for adolescents? A holistic leadership training programme should address knowledge, skills and competencies in the following areas:

What exactly is meaningful student participation? Student participation is common at secondary schools. However, at times this participation is token. When participation is meaningful, students initiate activities and share in decision-making with adults at their school.

Why is it important for adolescents to learn to lead while they are at secondary school?

Student participation is meaningful when:

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 tudents are allies and partners with adults in improving S schools. Students are trained to lead effectively Students’ voices are heard, acknowledged and considered during decision making

What are the benefits of meaningful student participation? When students are afforded opportunities to partner with adults in a meaningful way all persons benefit: Students a. Develop strong connections to their school, peers and teachers b. Tend to do better academically c. Develop leadership skills d. Become more confident

By emphasising student participation, schools provide adolescents with the opportunity to develop mastery of the skills, values and competencies which they will need to function as productive members of a democratic society.

How can students enhance their leadership skills while at school? There are many avenues for involving students. Here are a few suggestions:

a. Enjoy more positive relationships with students

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b. Find it easier to engage students

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c. Are provided with feedback and insights from students which can help to improve instruction and the school climate

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Adults

Peer Teaching Student Councils Peer Counselling Involvement in Afterschool Clubs Membership on school committees Student forums Library assistants Focus groups conducted by

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students to gain feedback for management on issues and programmes Student Court Student Ambassadors Peer Mediation School newspaper/ blog/newsletter Sports Service Clubs

a. Interpersonal relationships b. Conflict resolution c. Planning and decision making d. Resistance skills e. Self-awareness f. Planning; Monitoring and Evaluation g. Advocacy h. Democratic participation

How can we create a more nurturing environment for student participation at secondary schools? „„ Sensitise teaching, non-teaching staff and students on what student participation is and it’s benefits „„ Be willing to listen to students „„ Provide opportunities and mechanisms for students to share their ideas, opinions, knowledge „„ Strive to include students who are traditionally excluded from leadership opportunities „„ Mentor students to help them to develop leadership skills „„ Involve students in projects which build their leadership skills and their capacity to work in a team

Teachers at my school encourage students to participate but students do not seem interested.

LEARNING TO LEAD FOR LIFE:

How can we make student participation more appealing to students? Greater interest in participation can be created by ensuring that opportunities for participation reflect students’ interests. Providing positive reinforcement such as credits and merit points which are noted on students’ report cards and files can also encourage students to participate. 

MEANINGFUL STUDENT PARTICIPATION AT SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Produced in collaboration with the Ministries of Education in the Eastern Caribbean Region

For further information please contact the Ministry of Education in your country UNICEF Office for the Eastern Caribbean Area Tel: +1 246 467 6000 Fax: +1 246 436 2812 Email: [email protected] Web: www.unicef.org/barbados Facebook: www.facebook.com/unicefeasterncaribbean Youtube: www.youtube.com/unicefeasterncaribbean Copyright © UNICEF 2014

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