Cultivating Servant Leaders in Secondary Schooling

This empirical study – Cultivating Servant Leaders in Secondary Schooling – explored learners’ experiences of a service learning co-curricular program. Learners aged 15 to 17 of a Hong Kong international school were interviewed in three semi-structured focus groups. These qualitative data were analyzed thematically, and reveal that these participants had opportunities to develop servant leadership traits through their service learning process. It is argued that secondary schools can be a suitable training ground to cultivate servant leaders. The servant leader traits as listed by Spears (2010) are good components of a character education program. A servant leadership training framework is presented with three stages: serving, leading, and building community. Through this framework, youth serve through empathetic listening and action. They lead with intentionality and pursue a growth mindset. They make plans and persuade others into building community. Through discussion, practice, and reflection, service learning is a pathway to cultivate servant leaders in secondary schooling.

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