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Meaningful Student Involvement school reform SoundOut student engagement student voice

Cycle: Validating Students

It is as if students occupy a dichotomy in society where their voices are either completely worshipped or totally dismissed, and worse still, sometimes fully repressed. Media frequently place student voice on a pedestal, highlighting the “outrageous” things kids say or making the opinions and ideas of students into the flavor of the day in […]

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Meaningful Student Involvement school reform SoundOut student engagement student voice

Cycle: Listen to Students

Listening to students is something that anyone who has regular contact with students thinks they do every day. Asking students when the last time was they actually felt heard can reveal some different opinions though. Listening is the first step in the Cycle of Meaningful Student Involvement. Separately Students and Adults This happens for many […]

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Meaningful Student Involvement school reform SoundOut student engagement student voice

Cycle of Meaningful Student Involvement

Introduction to the Cycle Listen, validate, authorize, act, and reflect. These are not radical concepts unfamiliar to seasoned educators. However, while it is true that educators intuitively go through these steps with students every single day, it can be challenging to keep them in focus while going through the daily functions of running a classroom […]

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democracy democratic education democratic schools school improvement school reform student engagement student leadership student voice

Public Schools Aren’t Democratic

Being the autocratic, adultcentric environments that they are, public schools today are not democratic. They are existent within a society operating on democratic methods, and they (mostly) publicly allow every young person to enroll in them. However, on the whole, public schools are not led in a democratic fashion, are devoid of democratic teaching methods, and […]

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community engagement education parent involvement parenting school improvement school reform teaching

Rules for Parent Engagement in Schools

This is me facilitating a parent workshop in Yakima, Washington, in 2011. When parent engagement is supported, students can truly succeed throughout education. Parents must be empowered to be fully partners with educators and students if education is going to meet the needs of the modern era. These Rules for Parent Engagement in Schools offer […]

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Meaningful Student Involvement school improvement school reform student leadership student voice

Ontario Students’ Visions for School

Another spectacular example of Meaningful Student Involvement comes from Ontario’s spectacular SpeakOUT program. Part of the program, the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Student Advisory Council, shared this graphic today to show their ideas about the future of education. Taken from the graphic above! See the image to understand how these phrases relate to each other! […]

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Meaningful Student Involvement school improvement school reform student engagement student voice

Different Approaches to Students Changing Schools

Activities focused on Meaningful Student Involvement and Student Voice reflect two distinctly different routes to engage students in changing schools. Meaningful Student Involvement holds student voice carefully and respects its sentiment while honoring its sensibilities and enriching its possibilities. Student Voice is any expression of any student anytime related to education.  Doesn’t require schools to change Doesn’t require […]

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adultism critical pedagogy democracy democratic education democratic schools education school improvement school reform

Adultism in Democratic Education

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, […]

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Meaningful Student Involvement school improvement school reform student engagement student leadership student rights student voice

Selling Students Short

We are selling students short. Many of the very organizations, programs, and agencies that are engaging student voice are oftentimes blindsiding their targets. I say we are selling students short because student voice is often inauthentic. Students are incapacitated from participating fully in conversations about schools. What Makes Student Voice Inauthentic Little Adults: Pulled from their schools, in […]

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critical pedagogy democracy education school improvement school reform Schools

In Defense of Public Schools

A decade ago, I first 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, the draconian federal school funding law which mandates standardized teaching, learning, and evaluation […]