Schools Change The World, For Better Or Worse

Adam’s Note: A few weeks ago I was thinking about my daughter, school reform, the nascent Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Elizabeth Warren video where she ranted about Republicans so effectively. The following is what I arrived at after reflecting on it all for a while. By way of preparing you for the introduction,Continue reading “Schools Change The World, For Better Or Worse”

Classroom Characteristics Supporting Youth Voice

This week I’m working with Catalyst Miami training facilitators to use my SoundOut Youth Action Curriculum. In Miami they’re delivering the curriculum in 22 sessions. It is focused on engaging youth voice in action throughout the community, including schools, nonprofits, and other places. Catalyst Miami will be working with dozens of youth throughout the school yearContinue reading “Classroom Characteristics Supporting Youth Voice”

NEW: SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum

The SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum is a major departure from my past efforts to promote Meaningful Student Involvement. For almost a decade I’ve worked exclusively in situational attempts to train students and provide professional development opportunities for educators, whilst daydreaming of the possibilities of infiltrating the school system. That is to say, I have contracted extensively withContinue reading “NEW: SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum”

Student Voice in Child-Friendly Schools

Several years ago UNICEF took off on a journey to create child-friendly schools around the world. Their efforts included creating a comprehensive manual and conducting evaluations of so-named environments around the world. However, in their analysis of what created a child-friendly school, UNICEF has routinely neglected to name student voice as an essential component. For thoseContinue reading “Student Voice in Child-Friendly Schools”

The Purpose of Schools

I am an advocate for radical democracy, which focuses on creating inclusive, engaging, empowering, and connecting together all aspects of community for all people, regardless of gender, social, political, cultural, economic, educational, and other differences. My advocacy for radical democracy includes education, which is any process for learning, and schooling, which acknowledges a socio-political agendaContinue reading “The Purpose of Schools”

An Open Letter to Teachers, especially Mr. Roach

Dear Mr. Brian Roach, and Other Teachers Who Might Read This: I read your blog post on the ASCD website called, “Teacher: Dictator or president?“, and I want to reply directly to you, and directly to the question you pose in the title. Let me start by saying that I believe teachers are something more important than eitherContinue reading “An Open Letter to Teachers, especially Mr. Roach”

Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together

In 2009, I was honored to become well-acquainted with Helen Beattie in Vermont, where she has carefully created a powerful program called Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together (YATST). Over the last three years Helen has worked with a variety of organizations and high schools to develop a this effective model of school transformation thatContinue reading “Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together”

10 Things YOU Can Do to Promote Democratic Education

Last year, in celebration of the launch of the Institute for Democratic Education in America, I wrote a blog post for them focused on individuals taking action. Just over a year later, here is that article, “10 Things YOU Can Do To Promote Democratic Education,” reposted on the CommonAction blog. How would you expand it?Continue reading “10 Things YOU Can Do to Promote Democratic Education”

A New Vision for Students in School Reform

The following is a vision for schools, written in response to the National Day of Blogging for Real Education Reform, a project of the American Association of School Administrators and ASCD. After 10 years of working with K-12 schools, districts, state agencies, and national education organizations across the US and Canada focused on Meaningful Student Involvement,Continue reading “A New Vision for Students in School Reform”

Balancing Youth Voice

Among adults who work to support youth voice, there are a lot of questions that are wrestled with regularly. How do we best prepare youth to be meaningfully involved? Do we select students to become involved by our judgment, or theirs? How much authority should young people have when they’re involved? What happens if studentsContinue reading “Balancing Youth Voice”