This article presents the views of 72 Australian middle school students from 12 metropolitan schools across six states and territories as to their understanding of leadership. Initially, literature is reviewed regarding the developments in middle-years education and theories of leadership pertinent to student leadership. The research methodology is then explained, providing an overview of the participants, the school contexts and methods of data collection and analysis. The subsequent section on results is presented under three topics: examples of good leaders, attributes that make a good leader and participants’ understanding of the concept of leadership. A final discussion is centred on three considerations: the form of leadership that middle school students believed to be appropriate, the type of leadership that they rejected and possible underlying reasons for their choices.


distributed leadership, middle years, servant leadership, student voice, transformational leadership

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