My child has attended learning environments operating with democratic education principles for the last seven years, and as her dad I believe I’m a partner with her in her learning. As a line-level youth worker, I worked to infuse democratic education principles into my own practice for more than a decade, and as a consultant,Continue reading “Adultism in Democratic Education”
Many of the very organizations, programs, and agencies that are engaging student voice are oftentimes blindsiding their targets. Without concern for authenticity, ability, or desire, these student voice activities are focused on listening to “students in the raw”, meaning learners who haven’t been taught about what they’re trying to change. These same attempts often removeContinue reading “Selling Students Short”
A decade ago, I first made a name for myself in the American education system by arguing that public schools, which are the heart of our democratic society, are by example teaching students nothing about participating in a democracy. That was at the beginning of the age of No Child Left Behind, or NCLB, theContinue reading “In Defense of Public Schools”
Student Voice, which is any expression of any student about anything related to education and learning, can be infused into all classrooms to help students learn better. It can be easy to misbelieve that Student Voice is just about letting students have a say in what, how, why, when, or where they’re taught. That isContinue reading “8 Keys to Student Voice in Learning”
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You’re reading this because you’re curious about what’s next. Its the end of a school year, and you think your student voice project has failed. Let me reassure you, you’re not alone. I have led and consulted on hundreds of student voice projects over more than a decade doing this work, and I have failedContinue reading “When Student Voice Projects Fail”
Before you get started with your student voice project, you want to check your assumptions. You might begin by saying to your group, “Before getting started in actually engaging student voice, there are some important questions we have to ask ourselves and our school: What is the vision for students in our school? What isContinue reading “Checking Student Voice Assumptions”
As a pathway towards enfranchisement of students as full humans, student voice in schools is one avenue. Others include youth engagement throughout society, including civic, economic, cultural, recreational, and familial activities. Further still, the creation of advanced structures of support for young people, including training, funding, and personal support programs, will help take society there.Continue reading “How to Solve the Biggest Problem in Schools”
Meeting the challenge of having one group of humans routinely treat another group as less-than-human simply because of their age is a vexing one. However, before we can meet that challenge we should envision what the answer is to the question we’re trying to solve. Here is my vision of students as fully human: Seen andContinue reading “Solving the Biggest Problem in Schools”