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activities democratic schools Meaningful Student Involvement school improvement school reform SoundOut student engagement student voice

Students Speak Out on Ideal Schools

A student presenting at a SoundOut Speak Out event. Lately, I’ve been inspired by the work of Charlie Kouns and David Loitz through Imaging Learning. Working in a handful of locations across the country, they’ve been having powerful conversations with students about what, where, why, when, and how learning happens best for them. I really […]

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activism Meaningful Student Involvement school reform student voice teaching

Machiavellian Student Voice

“It is necessary for the prince to have the friendship of the people; otherwise, he has no resources in time of adversity.” – Machiavelli in The Prince Picket signs held high into the glimmering sunshine shouted, “Fair pay, fewer hours!” and “Teachers work for YOUR kids!” Lined up in rows, the protesters chanted, “Our voice, our […]

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Meaningful Student Involvement school improvement school reform student engagement student voice

Locating Student Voice

A lot of people are misunderstanding student voice and student engagement these days. Well-meaning educators and politicians are attributing all kinds of peculiarities and particularities to these terms, melding them with notions about student leadership, student achievement, and school communities as a whole. From more than a decade experience promoting these concepts throughout K-12 schools I have […]

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school reform student voice

Four Kinds of Student Voice

Student Voice is all the rage in some schools today. Teachers are listening to Student Voice in classrooms, school improvement programs are infusing Student Voice in reform efforts, and education leaders are rallying Student Voice to support their efforts as never before. Even community based organizations are concerned with Student Voice, working with young people […]

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civic engagement community engagement democracy democratic schools education school improvement school reform social change society student engagement

The Pedagogy of Privatism

This is the last I am going to write about charter schools for the time being. Earlier this month I wrote that “Charter schools are destroying democracy“; in 2009, I suggested that schools be “Public or nothing at all“; and in 2007, I compared charters to the nefarious Blackwater Corporation. With this post, I think I’ve said […]

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activities CommonAction Freechild school reform socialchange society SoundOut workshops youth

New Workshops Available!

New Workshops Available for 2012! Are you looking for powerful learning opportunities for your organization or community? Do you want to engage deeper, more powerfully, and more effectively than ever before? Hi, Adam here. As the founder and president of CommonAction, I am glad to report that we are available for booking throughout 2012! With […]

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democracy school reform Schools socialchange

Charter Schools Destroy Democracy

The story of charter schools in Washington State is intense. It spans several introductions in the Legislature, involves the voting down of the approach by citizens three times, is foisted up by education organizations and politicians bank-rolled by large foundations that are dismantling public schools across the United States, and generally disregards the education and […]

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Meaningful Student Involvement school improvement school reform SoundOut student engagement student voice

Student Voice and Student Engagement as Trojan Horses

I have a number of concerns about how I am seeing “student voice” and “student engagement” used in K-12 schools, education administration, and other settings that should benefit students to share their voices. One set of concerns I have I’m calling “Trojan Horse Strategies”. I call them this because in this approach educators and advocates […]

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education Meaningful Student Involvement school reform student engagement student voice

A Fear of Students?

I don’t write this lightly. After all these years of teaching educators and education administrators about student voice, student engagement, and my frameworks of meaningful student involvement, I’m led to believe there’s something more insidious behind the reluctance to not engage students as partners in learning, teaching, and leading in schools. I’m led to believe […]

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democracy democratic schools school reform

Bill Ayers and Democratic Education

A colleague recently asked what I think about Bill Ayers and his role in democratic education. Bill Ayers, like all the education celebrities, offers the challenge of notoriety: if we could examine his role regardless of his history, his politics or anything else, whenever he opens his mouth he risks representing more than himself. Instead he suddenly becomes the voice […]