Pathways to formal and informal student leadership: the influence of peer and teacher–student relationships and level of school identification on students’ motivations
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Leadership capacity-building is a key factor in sustainable school improvement, and the leadership contribution of students is an integral part of an authentic distributed conception of school leadership. Thus it is important to understand the factors which influence high school students' motivations to engage in formal and informal leadership in their school. A sample of 167 Australian public school Grade 11 students (average age 16.6 years) completed a selfreport survey of their perceptions and motivations. Students holding formal leadership roles reported more positive views of their school and peers. Girls not holding a formal leadership position reported higher levels of leadership motivation than boys. Students who were members of formal extracurricular clubs or teams did not report higher levels of school identification or leadership motivation. Students' perceptions of the quality of relationships between their peers and between teachers and students predicted their sense of membership or identification with their school. In turn, students' sense of identification, and not their level of achievement motivation, predicted their willingness to contribute and engage in leadership in their school. The implications of these findings for school leadership and culture and teachers' behaviour are considered.
International Journal of Leadership in Education
Educational Administration, Management and Leadership