Recently, I was asked what I’d written about schools and learning. Beginning my career with twelve years as an informal educator working in education and community settings, I have spent the last decade as an advocate and author for school reform. Two decades in, I think its best to summarize my writing with this summary of what I’ve written.
One of the most recent pieces I’ve written to summarize what the future of schools should like is on the SoundOut website and is called Fully Meaningful Schools. It is similar to a piece I wrote for the 2010 National Day of Blogging for Real Education Reform, a project of the American Association of School Administrators and ASCD entitled A New Vision for Students in School Reform.
I call my specific approach to promoting new roles for young people throughout education Meaningful Student Involvement. I wrote an article for SoundOut Summarizing Meaningful Student Involvement. Educational Leadership magazine published my article The Architecture of Ownership summarizes the entirety of the approach too.Considering the research and literature that supports my work, I have also written a great deal about student voice and student engagement. Some of those articles include Overcoming Barriers to Student Voice, Engaging Student Voice to Welcome the Future, Today for ASCD, and Acknowledging Student Voice. My article for SoundOut called The Rules of Student Engagement digs further into that vision, and a piece I adapted from earlier work that’s related is called Principles of Student-Adult Partnerships.
Several of my articles expand on my approach and the specific implementation processes involved in it. One of the earliest articles was for an organization called New Horizons for Learning, Broadening the Bounds of Involvement: Transforming Schools With Student Voice. Making Student Involvement Meaningful considered how it actually happens, and another called Meaningful Student Involvement Learning Process explores implementation. Expanding on the Key Characteristics of Meaningful Student Involvement and Essential Questions for Meaningful Student Involvement go deeper into that information. Making Meaning With Young People by Publicly Acknowledging Student Involvement was concerned with wrapping up the process. I got very specific with three pieces I wrote, 50 Ways Adults Can Support Student Voice for Teaching Tolerance magazine. After that I followed up with 65 Ways Students Can Change Schools for SoundOut, and 10 Things You Can Do To Advocate for Student Voice for SoundOut.
Working in the intensifying environment of public education in the 2000s, I became concerned about the absence of educational research supporting Meaningful Student Involvement. This led me to write several summaries, including Unleashing Student Voice: Research Supporting Meaningful Student Involvement. My other summaries include Defining Student Engagement: A literature review and Why Student Voice?
Considering the broad roles of students throughout schools, I wrote an article called Help Us Help Ourselves: Creating Supportive Learning Environments With Students. Specific incarnations of roles for students in education led me to write a series of blogs for the ASCD Whole Child initiative. The first was called Student Voice and Bullying. From there I expanded the series and wrote Accepting Responsibility for Bullying and Is Bullying a Form of Student Voice?. Those were backed up recently with a short piece for Cooperative Catalyst called Bullying IS Student Voice. I have kept a running summary of what’s happening in student activism for educational reform via Student Activism Success Stories.
My article entitled Student Voice in School Building Leadership considers a specific area of action in engaging students as decision-makers in education. I first learned about this approach through the research of Kentuckian George Patmor, who wrote a doctoral dissertation on student involvement in building-level decision-making. I wrote a post summarizing his work called 14 Choices for Meaningful Student Involvement in School Decision-Making. I wrote the article Typical Engagement? Students on School Boards in the United States for an awesome Australian magazine called Connect: Supporting Student Participation. Highlighting one specific example from the field, I wrote a piece called Total Infusion: District Scores 100% on Student Involvement in Decision-Making about a district in Maryland. Students Speak Out: How One School Opens the Doors to Meaningful Student Involvement summarizes work I did at a school here in Washington.
These are just the articles I’ve written about schools and education. I have several booklets, guides, and a curriculum too. I have written almost everything located on SoundOut’s website, and its my privilege to continue to write for other outlets too. Recently I started deepening my work and exploring the role of personal engagement in learning, and self-driven approaches. You can find a bit of this in Getting Real About Engagement on the Cooperative Catalyst website.
Let me know if you have any questions. I guess all this is to say, I LOVE WRITING and I LOVE SCHOOLS!
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!