“Meaningful student involvement” is my theory that when young people participate in equitable student/adult partnerships that are substantive and engaging for learners, the education system will more effectively meet its myriad goals. I first explored this concept in 2003 in my Meaningful Student Involvement Idea Guide for the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. In 2005 I wrote the Meaningful Student Involvement Guide to Students as Partners in School Change at the request of the HumanLinks Foundation. In it I explained that, “Meaningful student involvement is the process of engaging students as partners in every facet of school change for the purpose of strengthening their commitment to education, community and democracy.”
- Students construct meaning and produce knowledge,
- Students use disciplined inquiry to construct meaning, and
- Students aim their work toward production of discourse, products, and performances that have value or meaning beyond success in school.