Leadership Development in Maine Public Middle School Classrooms

Angela Jean Herrick Bordeaux


A statewide survey of Maine public teachers of grades seven and eight was conducted to examine how leadership development skills are taught, encouraged, and developed formally and informally. Teachers were asked their opinions on the importance of working towards developing leadership skills in their students and what methods and techniques they utilize in doing so. Questions regarding the development of curricula and flexibility of adapting curricula were also asked of educators. A total of 348 teachers in all 16 Maine counties completed the survey. Results of the qualitative and quantitative survey data indicated that while the general population of Maine public middle school educators value the importance of helping their students develop leadership skills, time limitations and state imposed learning standards lead towards feelings of restrictedness in what is taught. Several respondents, however, explained how they incorporate leadership development in their subject-specific lessons and during informal class time. There were differences noted by the educators in the ease of being able to integrate leadership lessons in the curricula depending upon the primary subject matter taught.