Gerstell Academy assists children in mastering leadership skills by providing instruction and focusing on four direct instruction principles of learning: modeling, role-playing, performance feedback, and transfer training. This training provides students from pre-k through 12th grade opportunities to be successful in the outside world by practicing hypothetical situations. Social skills play a critical role in children's well-being and educational development Students develop confidence as they learn the importance of presentation skills, eye contact, and public speaking.
Additionally, leadership development requires specific education and comprehensive skill development. At Gerstell Academy, leadership education focuses on the five academic areas of leadership, relevant history, science, psychology, and comparative religions and cultures. Leadership skills are further fostered by instilling the language of leadership which reinforces the mindset of an effective leader, including the "Rule of One" ["Perform one random act of kindness; Learn one new fact or item; Compliment at least one person"], the quote, "Leave it as you found it or better", and the definition of critical thinking. At Gerstell, we define "critical thinking" as "The ability to analyze facts, to generate and organize ideas, to defend logical results, to make comparisons, to draw inferences, to evaluate arguments excluding bias, to solve problems, and to be open-minded when reflecting on the process." The ability to think critically ensures that leaders, including future leaders, are objective in their analysis of information.