Schools are elementary breeding grounds for student leadership development. School principals, by virtue of their standing in their school, have a pivotal role in facilitating student leadership development initiative s. In essence, they are stewards of student leadership (Lavery & Hine, 2012). This paper examines the notion of student leadership from the standpoint of eight Catholic secondary school principals. It initially explores their perception of the ethos underpinning student leadership. On this point, all principals posited that servant leadership must be the overarching model informing student leadership. The paper then investigates those ways these principals perceived student leadership functioning in their schools. That is, how was servant leadership explicitly demonstrated in the actions of the students? Investigating student leadership development is an important issue, both nationally (Bunn et al., 2010) and internationally (Line burg & Gearheart, 2008; McNae, 2011). Moreover, the notion of servant leadership as the preferred model of student leadership resonates directly with the Gospel understanding of leader ship (Mk 10:42-45; Mt 23:8-12; Lk 22:24-27; Jn 13:12-17). Student leadership formation thus forms part of the fundamental purpose of Catholic education – the evangelisation of young people.


student leadership, Catholic schools


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