Sep 13, 2012

Drucker in Schools

Jessica Alarcon

Jessica Alarcon: Read Jessica’s story

Drucker for Future Leaders (DFL) teaches Drucker-based management skills to middle- and high-school students who use these lessons to design and implement community service projects. The students then develop individual self-management plans to pursue their academic and personal goals.

Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions (What is our mission? Who is our customer? What does the customer value? What are our results? What is our plan?) serve as the cornerstone of the students’ management training and provide a basic framework for the management plans the students put into practice.

The students learn and utilize other key management principles such as identifying and working from their strengths, adhering to their values, assessing their progress and revising their plans, managing their time, and practicing planned abandonment. Drucker for Future Leaders is project-based. It promotes collaborative and experiential learning, cultivates communication skills, and provides opportunities for the use and application of technology.

The curriculum is designed to unfold within a semester and consists of 12 to 15 classroom sessions of approximately 50 minutes (that can be broken up or combined to fit alternative classroom scheduling). The program is flexible in its implementation; some schools have delivered it within a two-month period while others have spread it out over a semester. The curriculum has been taught within business, careers and humanities courses as well as advisory and personal- and character-development classroom settings.

The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University, a national leader in the assessment of educational programs, evaluates all Drucker for Future Leaders implementations and has collected “statistically significant” data indicating that DFL assists students “in knowing their values, having academic and school goals, and seeing that chance and luck are not connected to what happens in life.”

Summary of the CEEP Results

Drucker for Future Leaders FAQs

To learn more, please contact Lawrence Greenspun at [email protected] or 909-607-8755.


Jessica’s Story

As a high school senior in Los Angeles, Jessica Alarcon dreamed of landing an internship in the field in which she’s interested: medicine. But instead of just applying for a summer job, she approached it as a management challenge.

Thanks to the Drucker Institute’s Drucker for Future Leaders program, Jessica had learned to pursue her aims by thinking through five basic questions: What’s my mission? Who is my customer? What does the customer value? What results do I desire? What is my plan to achieve them?

Jessica and her classmates had already used the five-questions framework to design and implement a community-service project, setting up a peer-to-peer tutoring network at their inner-city school. Now, Jessica applied the five questions to herself; she actively reached out to Kaiser Permanente to learn what “her customer” valued. What Jessica discovered was that the organization prizes volunteer experience among their interns. So, when Jessica went in for her interview, she was sure to highlight her previous membership in a youth service club.

The result: She got the job, and spent the summer working in a Kaiser hospital lab. In addition to doing clerical work, Jessica says, “every once in a while they let me have fun and look at the blood samples.” How cool is that?

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