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Short- and Long-Term Impacts of Developing Student Leadership

Author: Leader in Me
September 1, 2017

Dethlefs, Green, Molapo, Opsa, & Yang (2017) University of Northern Iowa

Evaluation of the Leader in Me in the Cedar Valley

Dr. Theresa Dethlefs, Dr. Matthew Green, Dr. Tšooane Molapo, Dr. Christen Opsa, & Cindy Diehl Yang, M.A. (2017) University of Northern Iowa

University of Northern Iowa, Center for Educational Transformation (Dethlefs, Green, Molapo, Opsal, Yang, 2017)
Independent research completed an extensive evaluation of local Leader in Me Schools to gauge their effectiveness, conducting focus groups, interviews, and surveys (reaching 600 students and 175 teachers at 11 schools). The research team also analyzed the academic and behavioral data reported by the elementary, middle, and high schools. Their research included LiM schools in various levels of implementation, as well as non-LiM schools.

Students at Lighthouse Leader in Me Schools were more likely to record their goals compared to students in non-Leader in Me Schools. There was greate agreement by teachers that their school offered leadership opportunities to all students in Leader in Me Schools as compared with teachers at non-Leader in Me Schools. Lighthouse LiM students were more likely to agree that “People at school notice when I’m good at something,” compared with non-Leader in Me. Lighthouse LiM students were also more likely to agree that they “Gets to help make decisions at my school” as compared with students at non-Leader in Me Schools. These students are also less likely to agree with/that, “I don’t like school.” if they are a Lighthouse Leader in Me student as compared to a non-Leader in Me student.

The executive summary states: “[Leader in Me] is making a distinct difference at the student, educator and school levels. It is shifting the way LiM educators educate, relate to, and support students.”

• 48% greater likelihood a Lighthouse LiM student would record their goals
• 38% greater agreement LiM school offered leadership opportunities to all students
• 40% greater likelihood a Lighthouse IM student feels that others notice when they are good at something
• 46% greater likelihood a Lighthouse LiM student feels they get to help make decisions at their school.
• 43% less likely a Lighthouse LiM student says they don’t like school

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