This course will explore the basic theories, trends, and practices for leadership from varying global perspectives. Leadership theories are often taught from a Western perspective. Note: This section of this course was taught at Simon Kenton High School in Independence, where students received both high school and college credit under NKU’s School-based Scholars program.
- Professor Rick Brockmeier
In this course, our learning goals are to introduce leadership concepts and cultural diversity issues to high school students who aspire to further their education in college.
Many of the students have leadership experience but have not been exposed to a systematic study of leadership concepts and practices. Their experiences of cultural diversity, its issues and power, is very limited.
The Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project promotes the delivery of experiential learning in support of those goals by assigning the students to research and analyze a global organization and its leadership and assess its "worthiness". In doing so, it fundamentally serves the learning objectives of the course and also helps establish philanthropic spirit in the student. Students also apply leadership concepts in that this research, analysis, and advocacy is done by teams.
The cultural exposure is enriched, since most of the organizations provide services and solutions to global groups, the problems for which are developed because of their particular cultural values, attitudes, and beliefs. Many of the organizations were established with the purpose of providing economic benefits, health benefits, and examination of ethnic and gender issues that are inherent in the cultural groups to which those organizations serve.
One of the surprising things that the students conclude is that there are many fine organizations involved in delivery of a wide variety of services, but most service is directed towards a handful of issues of very universal and long-standing cultural circumstances dealing with economic, health, and social mores. Most of the groups are worthy and the selection is a contested one.
How the class worked: The class was divided into teams of three to five students. Each researched a global nonprofit organization and prepared a presentation and one-page summary about the organization. Each team made a presentation to class for consideration.
The summary and the presentation content included a thorough description of the organization, its mission and goals, how the organization is run, reviews of the organization, how oversight is conducted, its location, the country or countries the organization serves, evidence of its work and the impact it is making.
After seeing each of the presentations, the class voted and selected one organization to receive the class philanthropic donation award.
Heifer International works in 21 countries around the world alongside local farmers and business owners. It supports farmers and their communities by providing training so they can improve the quantity and quality of the goods they produce, and connections to market to increase sales and incomes.
Click the image below to view the team presentation for Heifer International.
Professor Brockmeier: This course is designed to be delivered face-to-face, online, or in a blended fashion. The students have had some limited exposure to online modalities and certainly comfortable with technology applications.
But the abrupt changes in educational relationships and transmission of learning, imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, required the students shift to an exclusive online delivery. Since aspects of the course had already been explained and used during its blended delivery, the transition was, to a large extent, seamless.
The students had previously been exposed to some online learning tools while engaging in the class in a face-to-face or blended delivery for learning. While dialogue was limited, discussion boards in an asynchronous manner were presented to the students who did have an opportunity to experience and therefore learn how this online form of learning, though different, can provide certain benefits that face-to-face learning does not. The primary one was that the pandemic imposed the requirement that learning be more self-regulated than these high schoolers have experienced in the past. They soon confirmed that they were responsible for their learning and the progress of it.