Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. Baker

Third Advisor

Dr. Sanders


Investigators of leadership behavior have largely overlooked the period during early childhood when adjustment to the group is initially acquired and practiced. This study was designed to determine whether leadership skills could be taught to second-grade students. The purpose of the research was to determine the effectiveness of the Leadership Is Vital to Education (L.I.V.E.) (Lockett, 1982) leadership curriculum.

A major assumption in this study was that leadership development could be an appropriate outcome of the elementary school curriculum and could be facilitated by introducing a specific leadership-training component into the existing curriculum. The objective was to determine whether the concept of leadership and the development of proficiency in the skills needed to function as a leader could be taught to second-grade students by incorporating a leadership-training curriculum into their regular education curriculum.

The research design was the pretest/ posttest control-group design. Eight second-grade classrooms were randomly selected for the study. Four were assigned to a 15-week treatment, and four experienced no change in their curriculum. Four separate subscales of the Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students (Renzulli, Smith, White, Callahan, & Hartman, 1976) were used as the instrumentation device. Analysis of covariance was used to test the hypotheses.

The data analysis indicated that, when comparing the total groups, the null hypotheses could be rejected. The findings appeared to indicate that students receiving instruction in the leadership curriculum did differ significantly on the adjusted posttest mean score from those in the control group on all measures except the Communication--Expressiveness subscale.

The results of the study must be viewed with a full understanding that the limitations of the sample may affect the ability to generalize the results. It is also difficult to separate the effects of the method from those of the teacher, and this interaction of teacher and method may accentuate or detract from the potential merits of leadership instruction.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access