Raising Real Leaders Using Virtual Worlds

Blending Minecraft, Leadership, and Creativity
By Kristin H. Javorsky

Two third-grade boys sit hunched over a shared tablet, animatedly discussing how to start a structure they are building in the virtual Minecraft world on their screen. To decide whether to use wood, stone, or brick, they are placing a few blocks of each type on a field of green grass to compare the materials visually. An afterschool teacher who has stopped to listen praises them for using one of the leadership habits the class has been discussing, “Begin with the end in mind.” Nearby, two other third graders are taking turns using their tablet to place a sidewalk and light fixtures outside a multistory building in the same virtual world. The teacher observes as the girls deliberately balance the fixtures evenly along the sidewalk. Proudly, they tell her that they are remembering to “Synergize,” using another of the leadership habits the class has discussed.

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The Afterschool Matters Initiative is managed by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

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