Leadership Theory & Student Recidivism Capstone Project

Pages: 20 (6063 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Education  ·  Written: May 30, 2019

Education is the process of liberating the mind from oppressive thoughts and choices that negatively impact the life of the person (Simsek, 2012).

Organizational Context of the Site

The West Chester Program currently has no content on supported practices about leadership that will support teachers in their teaching of re-entry students and increase motivation in students. As the research shows, there is clearly a need to help re-entry students change their lives and avoid a life of recidivism. While alternative programs have been useful in the criminal justice system, West Chester Shelter needs to do more to impart upon re-entry youths the importance and value of education by using inspirational methods.

Theoretical Framework

The framework for this project is the Understanding by Design (backward design) framework. It is used in conjunction with the idea that leadership—namely charismatic and inspirational leadership—along with the application of suitable learning theories—namely adult learning theory and transformational learning theory—can be used as guides in the creation of the project deliverable. Leadership and learning foci provide the necessary perspectives on the learning process for vulnerable populations like the one used in this project. Young adults coming from incarceration need both guidance in the form of leadership and learning assistance so as to be able to avoid future trouble or criminality (Gagnon, 2018; Vacca, 2008). Understanding by Design provides the necessary guided approach to curriculum construction.

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Leadership Theories

The basic tenets of leadership theories explain the importance of leadership and how it affects followers. Leadership is a set of practices that can be learned, observed, and imitated (Bass, 2008). Charismatic, transformational and inspirational, leadership theories explain how leaders can encourage their followers who are attracted to the leader’s purpose and the person. These leadership styles can attract the attention of group members and serve as a focal point for positive direction in followers.

Capstone Project on Leadership Theory & Student Recidivism Assignment

According to Grabo and Vugt (2016), the fundamentals of charismatic leadership promote and maintains pro-social behaviors within individuals and groups. As Reivich, Seligman and McBride (2011) point out, a leader has to know what is going on within himself before he can really be of help to others. A sense of self-awareness is thus critical to a leader’s ability to lead. Teaching about pro-social behaviors is a way to inspire others and help them to become accountable and responsible to themselves and to others. A leader should be as self-aware as he is aware and mindful of others—this is what allows a foundation for social and emotional intelligence to be put in place; it is also what allows the leader to tap into strengths and use the to guide and assist others; finally, it is what allows the leader to recognize deficiencies and work on improving them. This three-pronged approach to leadership starts with a sense of self—and that sense can only be obtained through study and reflection.

As George (2000) points out, leaders have to possess a high degree of emotional intelligence in order to connect in a positive way with workers. Emotional intelligence is something can be developed through personal reflection and self-analysis. It can also come by way of observing others and noting how people interact and what sort of behaviors trigger particular reactions. Emotional intelligence can be especially useful for young adults in re-entry, so teachers should be made aware of how it can be used to help them interact with young students and how their own emotional intelligence can be used to inspire them to want to do better in life.

Once one knows who one is, one can better utilize the strengths, skills, knowledge and special tools one possesses to assist followers. However, if a leader is deceived or deluded about his own personal strengths and assets, he can cause a great deal more harm than good. Followers might view him as hypocritical and ultimately reject him, which leaves him with little influence or ability to motivate or inspire; or they may be completely turned off by his lack of awareness about his own self and that may turn them to think that if he is not even going to live up to the standards that he preaches and communicates then why should they? Thus it is absolutely essential that a leader be self-aware, know his strengths and work on his weaknesses so as to improve them and get to a point where they are minimal at most. This is essentially what Frederickson, Cohn, Coffey, Pek and Finkel (2008) describe when they talk about building lives through self-examination, meditation and the development of personal resources.

Transformational leadership is a positive way for teachers to inspire their students. It is about recognizing the power within oneself and working to achieve a clear goal. Transformational leaders have to communicate a vision to their followers. That vision has to be attainable. The followers have to buy into it and pursue it. In order to overcome resistance, the leader has to use reason and logic to show why the vision is good and why it should be embraced. The transformational leader inspires and provides support for followers as they work towards achieving the vision (Warrick, 2011). Transformational leadership can help to change the lives of individuals so long as they are convinced to buy into the vision that the leader is communicating. That is why it is important for the leader to have emotional intelligence, too, because this is a skill that the leader can use to help get the follower to believe in what he is saying will be beneficial for him.

Adult Learning Theory

According to Merriam (2014) adult learners are motivated by wanting to improve their lives. Furthermore, adult learners learn by transformational learning, so they are different later in life: “Students’ benefit and their achievement increases when adults learn and grow in school” (Drago & Blum, p.115). In addition, the cognitive perspective on learning states that importance has to be given to thoughts influence action.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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