Dynamics of Political Leadership (MSON) (History/Social Science Elective; US)

Fall; Grades 11–12 
Prerequisite: None
Taught by: Manlius Pebble Hill School

This course takes an academic approach to understanding great political leaders. While the course will look at leadership across modern history, it will also take a theoretical approach similar to a political science course. The goal is not only to examine the traits and styles of political leaders transcending history, but also to think more critically about the function of leadership in modern society. Essential questions include: How do great political leaders instill a desire in the public to follow them? What are the characteristics of great political leadership? What leadership styles are more effective than others? What personal attributes are required for effective leadership? How do leaders manage crisis situations? And how do the constraints of a political system affect a leader’s decisions?
Beginning with a broad examination of leadership qualities and styles, as well as the constraints of political systems, the course then focuses on the contemporary American political system and examines political leadership in “real time.” Using the analytical lenses developed in the first half of the course, students will assess and evaluate political leadership in both the past and the present. The course will culminate with each student conducting a qualitative analysis of a political leader during a crisis.


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