Rethinking Prevention

Waiting for a young person to fail before engaging them in their own education is a terrible route to finding your voice. Allowing young people to use drugs, letting them drop out of school, watching them tear themselves and their lives apart is messed up. And yet when I talk about reaching youth and connectingContinue reading “Rethinking Prevention”

When the Truth Isn’t Told

Mike Males is a sociologist and author whose writing has deeply influenced a lot of radical, committed youth workers, myself included. As my own analysis has opened up I’ve continued reading Males, primarily because he keeps digging further into the psyche of adultism in America today. His writing is powerful, as he continuously drills intoContinue reading “When the Truth Isn’t Told”

New Interview

The latest edition of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory’s Northwest Education magazine features an interview with me about meaningful student involvement. Its called “Students as Partners in Learning: Adam Fletcher Talks about Meaningful Student Involvement,” and its part of an entire (and awesome) issue dedicated to student voice, student ownership and student engagement in schoolsContinue reading “New Interview”

The Simplicity of Engagement

I admit it, I am guilty. For years I’ve been working to over-complicate youth engagement. In my partnerships with some of the leaders in the field of youth engagement we have sought to identify, explore, examine, re-identify, re-explore, and re-examine youth engagement in its parts and particulars. We have been looking for the sophisticated components,Continue reading “The Simplicity of Engagement”

Teaching Youth Civic Engagement

A lot of people are talking about civic engagement these days. Suddenly there is a popular terminology that captures all the energy for service learning, youth voting, community volunteering and other forms of establishing strong connections within and among a broader community. Suddenly there is a way to embody the best intentions and inherent benefitsContinue reading “Teaching Youth Civic Engagement”

What Do Students Really Know?

My first opportunity to work in a NYC school was yesterday. The Kingsbridge neighborhood of The Bronx is home to the Walton High School building, a massive pile of mortar that was built a long time ago. Housing as many as 5,000 students only 20 years ago, over the last several years the school hasContinue reading “What Do Students Really Know?”

Student Voice Research, Theory and Philosophy

I got an email today from Georgia where a doctoral student wrote regarding my work on meaningful student involvement. He wrote, “I was wondering on what major researchers you have based your work,” and “Is there a philosophical basis for what you have created?” Following is my reply: I have spoke with Alison Cook SatherContinue reading “Student Voice Research, Theory and Philosophy”

Insight from the “Dark Side”

Marketing is a disgusting beast of an animal that sucks the souls of humans to feed the beast of greed. Marketers created “youth”, inclusive of the developmental stage of life and the social notion of a certain way of being. Now that it exists, they relentlessly sell it: shoes, music, clothes, body styles, education, andContinue reading “Insight from the “Dark Side””

More Youth Voice from More Youth

For the last year SoundOut has been working with students, teachers and administrators in several Seattle-area high schools and at the district office to examine student perspectives on equity in schools. Its been an interesting project, with a varying amount of resistance and excitement from students, along with a range of roadblocks and embracing fromContinue reading “More Youth Voice from More Youth”

The Value of Youth Voice

In my ongoing search for foundation funding to support CommonAction, I am constantly find that nonprofits are asked to expound on the “value” of their program. A course I took on grantwriting and a lot of books about foundations say that “value” in this case is a code word that implies economic worth. What isContinue reading “The Value of Youth Voice”