In response to this growing crisis, some educators are beginning to listen to “student voice” as an attempt to generate feedback from those they serve and to implant a democratic-type experience into the classroom. These teachers and administrators are taking necessary steps towards reforming schools into places that embrace, rather than ignore the necessity of student engagement in education leadership.
The work I present on behalf of this movement represents an intensive multi-year scan of practice, philosophy, action, research and literature about Meaningful Student Involvement from around the world. Instead of following another government mandate or popular social trend, what is revealed shows that this movement is emerging from the “trenches” of education. In classrooms where intentions meet action, boardrooms where values meet policy, and hallways where purpose collides with perception, meaningfulness is happening every single day. From this presentation we understand that it can happening for every single student in every single school every single day.
Documentation of these efforts is slowly coming forth. The sources vary from peer-reviewed journals, organization websites, unpublished doctoral dissertations, student-written zines, and other sources. I have spent a decade examining a wide range of resources, selected to support and promote students as researchers, planners, teachers, evaluators, decision-makers and advocates throughout education.
Criteria for inclusion in my scan includes:
- Support of Meaningful Student Involvement – Authors sought to validate engaging students as learners, teachers, leaders and citizens.
- Maintenance of Authentic Voice – Authors speak for themselves as students or adults through their writing. Adults do not falsely attempt to represent students, and students don’t haphazardly dismiss the potential contributions of adults.
- Concern for School Change – Authors genuinely react to the necessity of changing students’ roles through school change.
process of rebuilding education and democracy today and in the future. The resources I provide are offered towards that direction.
Excerpted from Resources for Meaningful Student Involvement, © 2003, 2012 CommonAction. All rights reserved. For more information, including professional development for educators and students, contact our office today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.