The primary goal of leadership education is to teach individuals how to think. It is to guide them to critically think for themselves with creativity and problem solving capabilities.
The second goal is to train these individual thinkers to become leaders in their homes, business' and communities. It is to expand them to do the right thing and to do it well with character and competency.
The third goal is to perpetuate freedom. It is to educate these leaders with the understanding of what freedom is, what is required to maintain it and how to exert the will to do what is required.
A leadership educator Oliver DeMille studied the greats through time, more specifically he studied how they became who they were, how they thought, how they studied and how they learned to think. He found some similarities and commonalities in the learning approach of these not so common greats. He founded a new approach named after one of the greats himself, Thomas Jefferson.
This educational approach, also known as Leadership Education is based on 7 Keys of great teaching that DeMille discovered through his research of Thomas Jefferson's learning with his mentor George Wythe.
These 7 Keys of great teaching are:
1. Classics, not Textbooks
2. Mentors, not Professors
3. Inspire, not Require
4. Structure Time, not Content
5. Quality, not Conformity
6. Simplicity, not Complexity
7. You, not Them
Along with these 7 Keys, DeMille found that there existed phases of learning of the individual. Through each phase of learning, the learning environment, learning plan and objectives are adjusted and individualized to the learner, providing an opportunity for greatness.
The phases of learning are as follows.
Although the maintenance and nourishment of the core phase is a continual life long process, the foundation of this phase occurs roughly through the years of 0-8. The individual's concept of self and family along with the beginnings of their world view are defined through critical life lessons throughout this phase.
Love of Learning Phase:
With a 'successful' core phase established, the learner will naturally transition with ease into the love of learning phase where they will explore their interests and build their repertoire of skills throughout the years of 8-12. In this phase the learner will have the freedom of self expression without critique. They may hop from topic to topic but as they begin to transition to the Scholar phase they will devote more focus and time to particular subjects going further in depth.
Typically with the onset of puberty, changes in the learner's physical, emotional and social expression occur. This marks the beginnings of the transition to scholar phase. This is a time for personal academic commitments and accountability. It is within this phase, which roughly happens throughout the years 12-16, that the student propels themselves into their studies for long hours, working hard and learning because they love it.
The student will reach a point where they feel they want to contribute to their community(home/world) in a deep and meaningful way. In this phase, which roughly occurs through the years of 16-22, the student wants to prepare for their upcoming responsibilities and future role they wish to play. They will be wanting to submit themselves to a mentor, program or life experience that will push them to new heights and give them a fuller grasp on their place in the community.
For more information on Leadership Education visit A Thomas Jefferson Education at tjed.org