Meaningful Student Involvement: Guide to students as partners in school change

In 2007, I finished a series of booklets introducing my vision for education called “Meaningful Student Involvement”. Since then, I have worked with hundreds of K-12 schools, government education agencies, and learning-focused nonprofits to teach my philosophy. Preparing for a presentation today in Spokane, Washington, for 21st Century Community Learning Center sites from across the state, I came across the following research summary of my Meaningful Student Involvement: Guide to students as partners in school change. I’m excited to share it with you here.

Title: Meaningful Student Involvement: Guide to students as partners in school change 

AbstractThis publication is a guide about meaningful student involvement and of students as partners in school change. The guide is divided into a number of chapters including:

Chapter 1: Elements of meaningful student involvement This section discusses a number of issues including: providing a definition for meaningful student involvement; when student involvement is and is not meaningful?; the cycle of meaningful student involvement which is a ‘continuous five-step process’ (listen, validate, authorise, mobilise and reflect); the key characteristics or elements of meaningful student involvement; and the ladder of student involvement in schools, which entails eight steps ranging from students manipulated (manipulation) to student-initiated, shared decisions with adults (student-adult partnerships). 

Chapter 2: Benefits of meaningful student involvement This chapter presents the manifold benefits of meaningful student involvement, these benefits are accrued to students, adults and schools systems, and in a number of areas.

Chapter 3: Meaningful student involvement in actionThis section presents examples on meaningful student involvement and how it has been practiced. The examples discussed are in the following areas: students as school researchers; students as educational planners; students as classroom teachers; students as learning evaluators; students as systemic decision-makers; students as education advocates; and student-led organizing for school change.

Chapter 4: Learning through meaningful student involvement
This chapter outlines some of the activities, skills, and learning connections embedded within meaningful student involvement. Additionally, there is a discussion about and illustrations on meaningful student involvement in (elementary, middle and high) schools.

Chapter 5: Barriers and solutionsThis chapter presents the barriers (structural, adult, and student) to meaningful student involvement and the possible ways to overcome them. 

This guide also lists a number of additional resources and research sources on meaningful student involvement.


Its exciting for me to find this kind of citation. I just discovered its cited on Google Scholar 44 times, which is cool too. Download the publication and more at http://soundout.org/series.html




CommonAction is available to train, coach, speak, and write about this topic across the US and Canada. Contact Adam to learn about the possibilities by emailing adam@commonaction.org or calling (360) 489-9680.


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

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