The Importance of Student Leadership Roles in the Learning Process

By Meesh Hammer-Kossoy, Daniel Segal, and Moshe Tur-Paz

The value of encouraging students to take roles of responsibility and leadership on a school wide level in ways such as school government and special events planning has long been recognized.  This Hebrew paper studies and makes several recommendations about how these techniques can be implemented in classroom learning.  Active student participation increases motivation and makes learning more fun.  It can also help the internalization of the material more effectively.  Furthermore, when students take responsibility for learning within the classroom they are able to build character, group and leadership skills as well as learn the formal material.  This paper investigates the values and impediments of these methods through secondary literature as well as empirical study. 

Three Israeli schools were visited, Keshet and Pelekh in Jerusalem and Gordon in Tel Aviv.  Practical recommendations are made.   Specifically, these techniques are best introduced in a graded fashion and in schools in which the overall framework is supportive.

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