Gitanjali Paul

Student leadership for Student Learning


What is the one topic that you most love to teach? Imagine yourself preparing to teach a lesson on this topic. Bioethics, magical realism, guerrilla warfare, environmental sustainability…that topic that captivates you to such an extent that you devote an abundance of passion and thought to sculpting your lesson objectives, scrounging for resources and preparing a lesson so fun and engaging that you can infuse your students with your passion.

Now, stop- and reimagine a student doing all of those things instead. How does it change the lesson dynamic, student engagement and, most importantly, student learning?

Though letting go of control and putting students in charge can seem scary, in this session we will examine the potential of student leadership in curricular and cocurricular contexts for enhancing authentic and experiential learning opportunities. Moreover, we will look at the tools and methods we can use as teachers to guide and support effective student-led projects. We will review examples of student-lead lessons, workshops for youth and adults, as well as community research and service projects to investigate opportunities for and methods to empower students to take greater control over their own contextualized learning experiences.

Possible Outcomes
  • Explore examples of student-lead lessons, projects and initiatives from curricular and cocurricular settings.
  • Acquire an array of strategies and tools to help you empower students as leaders including planning structures and templates, systems thinking tools and theory, and strategies to engage students and build the necessary dispositional skills to act as leaders.
  • Apply ideas to your own context through the creation or modification of a lesson or project with opportunities for peer feedback and collaboration.
Intended Audience

Secondary educators who want to explore ways to further empower students to take ownership over their curricular and/or cocurricular learning.

About Gitanjali

Gitanjali Paul is a High School Social Studies Educator and Sustainability Coordinator at the International School Manila, Philippines. She is an resolute believer in contextual and skills based learning, and consequently one of her passions is to facilitate meaningful student leadership opportunities in curricular and cocurricular settings. She has trained and coordinated students to run numerous workshops, conferences and projects. Some examples include regional and city-based Global Issues Network (GIN) Conferences in Manila since 2012, a school-wide sustainability initiative, student leadership workshops, as well as last year’s Learning2 student workshops

Gitanjali is also a strong proponent of using education to promote positive and sustainable community service and change. As such,  she also volunteers as the Youth Leadership Team Leader for an emerging Sustainability Education Non-Profit: Compass Education. In this capacity, she is overseeing the development and implementation of a youth leadership workshop and training program.

As a Learning2 Leader, Gitanjali is looking forward to not only being able to share her experiences facilitating student-lead projects, but learning more about the array of student initiatives currently operating in the region.

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