• Foundations of Leadership, ACC Course of Study

    BOE Approved May 2009


    Table of Contents


    Members of Revision Committee

    Statement of Purpose

    Program of Studies Description

    Core Content Standards

    Textbook and Resource Materials 

    Course Objectives/Activities

    Content Outline/Timeline

    Proof of Proficiency


    Members of Revision Committee


    Statement of Purpose:

    The purpose of all curriculum guides is to provide direction for instruction.  It identifies written outcomes in a subject assessment.  In order to achieve maximum understanding, the objectives identified as learning outcomes must be written clearly and reflect the specific learning and behavior which are expected.


    Objectives are written as major outcomes.  Teachers should understand that they must make careful decisions on the specific.  These professionals are encouraged to reflect with others teaching the same curriculum for this purpose and also to identify the most appropriate resources and methods of assessment.  Therefore the objectives in this guide are designed to provide direction to the teacher in order to facilitate instructional planning.


    All teachers, parents, and students should be informed of the expected outcomes (i.e., objectives) for the subject and/or grade level.



    Program of Studies Description:

    The course introduces the fundamental principles of leadership with an emphasis on the application of the principles of self-development and organizational effectiveness.  Students will learn more about themselves through participation in a number of class activities, including class discussions, experiential challenge activities, seminars, and group work.  This course will contain a strong emphasis on the development of effective communication skills.


    Core Content Standards for Foundations of Leadership:


    All students will learn democratic citizenship and how to participate in the constitutional system of government of the United States.


    All students will learn democratic citizenship through the humanities, by studying literature, art, history and philosophy, and related fields.


    All students will acquire historical understanding of political and diplomatic ideas, forces, and institutions throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.


    All students will acquire historical understanding of societal ideas and forces throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.


    All students will acquire historical understanding of varying cultures throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.


    All students will acquire historical understanding of economic forces, ideas, and institutions throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.


    All students will acquire geographical understanding by studying the world in spatial terms.


    All students will acquire geographical understanding by studying human systems in geography.


    All students will acquire geographical understanding by studying the environment and society.

    Textbook and Resource Materials: 

    Print Resources


    Coles, Robert.  Lives of Moral Leadership: Men and Women Who Have Made a Difference; Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2001.


    Covey, Stephen.  Seven Habits of Highly Effective People; Simon & Schuster, 1990.


    Johnson, Spencer.  Who Moved My Cheese?  An Amazing Way to Deal with Changes in your Work and in Your Life; Putnam Publishing Group, 1998.


    Kennedy, John F.  Profiles in Courage; Perennial, 2000.


    Shaara, Michael.  The Killer Angels; Ballantine Books, 1987.


    Wren, Thomas (ed).  The Leader’s Companion: Insights on Leadership Through the Ages; Lexington Books, 2000.


    Film Resources


    20th Century with Mike Wallace - Mystique of Leadership (1999)


    Gettysburg (1993)


    Hoosiers (1986)


    October Sky (1999)


    Remember the Titans (2000)


    Saving Private Ryan: Classroom Version (1999)


    Who Moved My Cheese? (1999)


    Course Topics/Objectives/Activities/Assessments:

    Topic:  Introduction


    Objective 1:  The student will be able to examine contemporary definitions of leadership and develop a personal definition.

    (CCCS- 6.2, 6.3)

              Suggested Activities: 

    ·         Interview school and business leaders to learn their definition of leadership.

    ·         Use Internet sites to gather several definitions of leadership.

    ·         Send emails to federal and state government leaders to ascertain their definition of leadership.

    ·         Take and analyze the Leadership Development Profile Index.

    ·         Research and develop a timeline of historical definitions of leadership.

    ·         Select and discuss definitions of leadership from 21st Century Leadership.

    ·         Prepare and present individual definitions of leadership to the class.



    Students will produce a portfolio of possible definitions of leadership and their response to each and include their own authentic definition of leadership.



    Topic:  Group Dynamics

    Objective 2:  The student learner will be able to examine the context of leadership, most central to which is the relationship between the individual and the group.  (CCCS- 6.1; 6.2)

              Suggested Activities: 

    ·         Visit a local camp to complete a team-building challenge course.

    ·         View and discuss video clips of group dynamics.

    ·         Research and conduct a debate on the effectiveness of the Japanese Group Model.

    ·         Conduct and discuss a trust walk.

    ·         Observe and take notes on a governmental council or committee meeting.

    ·         Administer and discuss the Kersey Temperament Sorter.

    ·         Participate in icebreaking activities.

    ·         Complete the rock-climbing wall and/or adventure activities course at the school.

    ·         Participate in the “Headband Stereotyping Activity” and discuss the dangers of stereotyping and prejudice in group dynamics.

    ·         Student groups participate in a simulation where they are stranded on an island and have to function as a group.

    ·         Invite a local coach to speak to the class about the importance of groups working together.

    ·         Students read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and propose methods by which they can incorporate the lessons into their own lives.

    ·         Students develop a team-building lesson and teach it to local elementary-school students.



    Students will maintain a personal journal analyzing their group interactions for a time period to be determined by the teacher.



    Topic:  Models of Leadership

    Objective 3:  The student learner will be able to explore selected historical and contemporary models of leadership and how individual styles compare to such models.  (CCCS – 6.1; 6.3; 6.4; 6.5; 6.6)


              Suggested Activities: 

    ·         Students will examine leadership, through directed historical readings, tracking it during ancient history that includes Middle Eastern Civilization, the Greeks and Romans, the Middle Ages, as well the 18th, 19th, and 20th century.

    ·         Students will identify specific leaders by name and these specified time periods that are historically recognized.

    ·         Research the people discussed in Profiles in Courage.

    ·         Students will analyze those historical recognized leaders within the context of the society/civilization they ruled.

    ·         Students will list/diagram the leadership qualities exhibited by these identified leaders.

    ·         Discuss the leadership styles of characters in The Killer Angels.


    The students will organize their findings of leadership qualities and styles in a diagram format, highlighting the similarities that exist.


    Topic:  Leadership in the Community

    Objective 4:  The student learner will be able to apply the fundamental areas of leadership to practical and real life situations within the school and surrounding communities.  (CCCS- 6.1; 6.2; 6.3; 6.4)

              Suggested Activities: 

    ·         Students will identify and examine:

    o   Three problems in their school

    o   Three problems about being a Junior

    o   Three problems about being a Senior

    o   Three problems in their community

    o   Three problems they will face after high school

    §  Example:  work, college, financial

    ·         Read and discuss Who Moved My Cheese?

    ·         Students will apply their understanding of leadership to these identified problems.

    ·         Students will shadow a person recognized as a leader.  With their approval, either internal or external, and identify problems encountered and qualities used to come to a solution.



    Students will make a list of the ten problems they identify as the most compelling that were presented in class.  They will also use their knowledge of leadership to propose solutions to these problems in the form of class presentations and position papers.

    Topic:  Leadership in Ethics

    Objective 5:  The student learner will be able to describe the responsibilities of leadership, and the role that ethics play in the use of power and authority.  (CCCS – 6.1; 6.2; 6.3)


              Suggested Activities: 

    ·         Describe a fictional “perfect” leader and compare various real historic leaders to that model.

    ·         Role-play situations in which leaders are faced with difficult ethical situations.

    ·         Describe scenarios in which power must be abused to achieve a greater good.

    ·         Read and discuss Lives of Moral Leadership.

    ·         Students will read biographies of leaders in various areas – politics, military, sports, business, etc – and define similarities that made them successful.

    ·         Establish a hierarchy within the classroom with appointed leaders, followers and observers to document the interactions and reactions of participants when faced with decisions. Rotate the groups to give everybody the chance to be in a different role.

    ·         Have activities based on programs like, “Survivor” and “The Apprentice”

    ·         Discuss and critique the actions taken by current leaders.



    · &am, p;nbs, p;       Students will prepare written accounts of the leadership styles of current and past famous leaders.

    ·        Students will do peer evaluations and self – evaluations after group exercises.



    Topic:  Communication Skills

    Objective 6:  The student learner will be able to develop and improve their abilities to write, speak and listen in order to improve their overall communication skills.  (CCCS – 3.1; 3.2; 3.3; 3.4; 3.5)


              Suggested Activities: 

    ·         Give oral presentations on the lives and accomplishments of great leaders.

    ·         Debate the controversial actions that leaders have taken throughout history.

    ·         Listening exercises where a student must put into their own words what another student has just said to them.

    ·         Listen to presentations by great leaders and then paraphrase them to another party.

    ·         Write different types of communications – business letters, point papers, talking papers, etc – to various agencies, both within and outside the school.

    ·         Edit the writings of other students and explain to them orally why the changes were made



    ·         All written exercises will be evaluated for content and effectiveness in expressing the desired information.

    ·         All oral presentations will be evaluated for content, delivery, and effectiveness in communicating with the audience.


    Content Outline/Timeline


    First Semester
    Icebreakers/ Team-building Activities
    Definitions of Leadership
    Assessments of Personal Leadership Style
    Models of Leadership (Historical and Contemporary)
    Group Dynamics


    Second Semester
    Communication Skills
    Leadership and Civics
    Leadership and Ethics
    Real-Life Applications of Leadership
    Change Theory




    Proof of Proficiency


    Elements of the Foundations of Leadership Portfolio


    ·          Collect at least six definitions of leadership.  Critique each definition and create your own original definition.

    ·         Take an online leadership profile test.  In a two- to three-page, typed paper, assess if the profile adequately describes you.

    ·         Prepare a chart listing and defining the stages of the group development process.  For each stage, identify and describe personal examples of a group in that stage.

    ·         Prepare a eulogy for a world-famous leader, focusing on his/her leadership abilities.

    ·         Compose a two- to three-page, typed proposal to address a problem in your school or community.

    ·         Participate in and document forty hours of community service.  Write a summary of each experience, identifying what you did and what you learned during each experience.

    ·         Citing examples from history, explain ten elements that comprise the ideal leader.

    ·         Create a four-page, typed persuasion essay on a controversial topic.  Include an edited draft along with your final copy.