A leadership enrichment program for Research Higher Degree Students: an experiential learning approach to leadership training.

Year: 2006

Author: Barron, Deirdre, Zeegers, Margaret

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Enrichment programs for Research Higher Degree (RHD) students are an endeavour undertaken by all Australian Universities. Most of these enrichment programs have in the main been centred on the generic skills required to expedite the research program, for example software skills, information gathering and collating skills, language development programs and seminars on various methodologies. There are some examples where enrichment programs have focused on leadership. These programs often assume not only that leadership can be taught, but also that a traditional seminar/lecture approaches to such a curriculum is a practical, efficient and effective approach to leadership education. This paper questions these assumptions by arguing for a more experientially-based approach to leadership education at the RHD level. This approach has demanded a consideration of pedagogical approaches outside, or peripheral, to the traditional approaches of RHD training. A specific example of a leadership program that incorporates experiential learning in is presented. The paper delineates a brief overview of experiential approaches to education, followed by a more specific review of the potential role these approaches can play in leadership education.