We are on track to launch a new leadership curriculum by 1 April 2010. Many CP leaders are familiar with this effort, which we’re calling “Learn to Lead.” Here’s a quick update on this exciting project:
1. LEARN TO LEAD TEXTBOOK.
Stage one of this project involves developing two new textbooks, one for Phase I cadets (chapters 1-3) and one for Phase II cadets (chapters 4-8). The module 1 “Personal Leadership” textbook draft is complete and has been available for your review in the proving grounds. The module 2 “Small Team Leadership” textbook draft is 60% complete (chapters 4, 6, and 8 are done). We’ll set the project aside this summer, during NCSA high season (and when yours truly marries lovely Amanda), and complete chapters 5 and 7 in September. Watch the proving grounds for module 2’s draft to become available for your review in October. Click the “Learn to Lead Outline” at right for more info.
2. LEADERSHIP TOOLS.
As announced in an earlier blog entry, watch your mailbox for the new Learn to Lead Activity Guide, the Respect on Display guide to customs and courtesies, and the Essentials of Teambuilding activity book. These materials supplement the Learn to Lead textbook and are at the printer as of this writing.
3. DRILL TESTS.
One weakness of the current leadership curriculum is that too much is expected of cadets early on in drill, and very little is expected of them after Achievement 2. We’ve spread the drill requirements out such that you’ll see a performance test in chapters 1 through 6, at least. For achievements 7 and 8, we’ll probably have to test cadets’ knowledge of high level formations in writing – performance tests just aren’t practical unless someone has an encampment-sized cadet corps handy.
4. NOTE ABOUT RESEARCH.
Learn to Lead is informed by solid research. One weakness of the current text is that it relies on anecdotes. At any rate, it’s been interesting to see how some staples of cadet leadership education have no foundation in Air Force doctrine or the professional literature. Take the “NCO support channel,” for example. Every cadet NCO learns that flight sergeants back up the first shirt and so forth, but our research lead us to discover that “NCO support channel” is an informal Army term (at best), with no foundation in the Air Force tradition. Suffice to say that Learn to Lead will be a stronger text because we’re investing time in solid research.
5. ONLINE TESTING
The IT folks are developing the system that cadets will use to take their achievement tests online. They’re telling us the project is fairly straightforward from a technical standpoint. We’ll begin field testing the system around Thanksgiving and we’ll officially roll-out the system by 1 April 2010, at the same time we release Learn to Lead.
Again, Learn to Lead Modules 1 and 2 are on track for April 2010. We think cadets will find the new curriculum more challenging, more relevant, and more fun.