Learning about Education: Basics for Students

As I completed the SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum I compiled a list of basic knowledge about the education system students need to have in order to be effective school change agents. This is based on my experience working with hundreds of students in schools across the U.S., as well as consulting with teachers from a wide range of schools who are doing this work everyday.

An Overview of Public Schools

  • Intro to the School System
  • Reflecting on Your Education

Student Voice 101

  • Student Rights
  • Intro to Meaningful Student Involvement
  • Advocating for Students

Student/Adult Partnerships

  • Working with Adults Allies
  • Adults as Roadblocks
  • Action Research for School Change and Student Evaluations of School

Learning about Learning

  • Which 3 Rs today: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic or Relevance, Rigor and Relationships?
  • Understanding Basic Curriculum
  • Assessing School Performance

Learning Outside of School

  • Project-based learning, service learning and more
  • When Homework Matters
  • Out-of-School Learning
  • Homeschooling, Unschooling and Taking Control of Your Learning
  • Summertime Doesn’t Suck

The Politics of Schools

  • What Lies Behind, Underneath and Within Education and Reform
  • Standardized Learning and Testing
  • What Happens After the Test?
  • The Future of Schools

Let me know what you think, what’s missing, and what I should take out. Thanks!

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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  1. Yeah, I’d add something at the very beginning in the Intro section I think.

    Sylvia, have you ever heard of/read John Taylor Gatto? In 1990 he was a 25-year veteran teacher in NY who was awarded the state’s teacher of the year award. For his acceptance speech he gets up and gives this damning indictment of public schools, talking about how his job as a teacher was to teach confusion, class position, indifference, emotional dependency, intellectual dependency, provisional self-esteem and that “one can’t hide”. He turns all this into his best-known work, “Dumbing US So, “guy with creds” rips up system.

    In 2001 he puts out a book called “The Underground History of American Education” where he continues the tear-apart. I would include some of that info in the intro. You can find out more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Underground_History_Of_American_Education

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