In the Loop: Fostering Student Leadership

Around the world, we see more and more young people stepping up to challenge the status quo. Whether it’s the Nobel Peace Prize winner and activist, Malala Yousafzai, or the climate change activist Greta Thunberg, young people are voicing the change they want to see in the world. While these are two of the most often celebrated examples of young people’s leadership, we see many young people across the Teach For All network who are also shaping a better future for themselves and those around them. 

In an effort to learn more about what inspires and enables leadership in young people in different countries and of diverse cultures, Teach For All’s  Global Learning Lab  recently hosted a classroom learning loop focused on student leadership. More than 135 representatives of the Teach For All network from 37 countries participated in the three-week online learning experience, including  educators, program designers, teacher developers, and students.

In the first week, participants focused on exploring examples of inspiring student leaders around the world, including Rehan from India and Leah from Uganda. Participants reflected on how the dominant culture in their own contexts shapes their understanding of leadership in young people, which led to vibrant discussions about the differences and similarities in the meaning and expression of student leadership across the globe. 

During week two, participants developed a more technical understanding of student leadership by exploring models that offer a lens through which authentic partnership between young people and adults can be viewed. Alongside these academic frameworks, participants also learned from pioneering initiatives such as Grip Tape, Reap Benefit, and Teach For India’s Kids Education Revolution.

The learning loop ended on an energizing note as participants shared videos of projects they were planning to execute in their schools and communities to develop authentic partnerships with and elevate the voices of students. You can learn more about the insights that emerged from the learning loop on the Global Learning Lab’s website

The next learning loop focused on student leadership, Making Student Leadership Tangible, will take place from March 16 through April 10, 2020. If you’re interested in participating, enroll here by February 28.