25 SES 02, Stakeholder Perspectives (Part 2)
Paper Session: continued from 25 SES 01
One of the main priorities recently recognized by European Community inside the recent ERASMUS plus programme is the ‘development of social capital among young people, the empowerment of young people and their ability to participate actively in society’ (European Commission, 2014, p. 9).
Fielding (2012), among others, clarifies how, in a time of increasing movement within and between countries, many young people ask for more opportunities to express their views. It is time for them to be heard and involved in collaborative process with adults. Grion (2013, p. 136) asserts that ‘ it is necessary for schools to become involved by assuming the participatory traditions of democracy, rethinking internal relationships and stimulating all member participation and co-responsibility’.
Therefore, there are additional reasons to give pupils a new, and more significant role in the school contexts, encouraging them to participate more actively in the processes of management and evaluation.
Many authors (Rudduck, Chaplain & Wallace, 1996; Rudduck and Flutter, 2000; Flutter & Rudduck, 2004; Cook Sather, 2002; 2007; 2009) suggest that students have a unique perspective on what happens in schools and classrooms (Cook-Sather 2009) and their point of view needs to be given more attention by adults. This leads to promising findings about the effects of listening to pupils and incorporating them in a deeper and wider participation in school decisions and actions. A review of the most relevant research, proposed by Cook-Sather (2007), shows that there could be many significant educational advantages by improving practices related to students’ perspective in schools. It seems that when teachers focus on students’ experiences and perspectives and capture this to make what is taught more accessible to them. They can design more engaging curricula and pedagogical approaches by building curricula around themes of interest to students. Not only can this be motivating, but also transformative for students both personally and politically. In these ways, students can feel empowered and highly committed to participate in school activities.
Focusing on the evaluative processes of schools, some authors criticize the passive role of pupils.
They call for ‘more productive approaches to assessment and accountability’ (Stobart 2008, 89),overtaking the dominant ‘Measurement paradigm’ (Broadfoot, 2007) to give a more significant role to stakeholders inside school communities. McNess (2006, p. 517), in particular, clarifies that ‘the definition of quality as expressed through policy may not always accord with the aims and aspirations of individual teachers or, perhaps more importantly, match the constructions given to the concept of quality by pupils’. Therefore there have been criticisms, not only of the measurement approach many governments use to evaluate the quality of schools, but also the implicit idea of ‘quality’ educational systems built with no regard to students’ perspectives. Levin (2000) noted more than ten years ago, that while the literature on school-based management underlines the importance of giving more significant roles to teachers and parents, students’ views are usually side-lined in the discourse. This disregard for students had persisted: Sargeant (2013, p. 1) confirms that ‘Despite the mounting evidence of its value, in many aspects of education and social provision, the child’s voice remains absent’.
In this context, our aim is to understand what students consider ‘quality’ schools look like, taking a European point of view by comparing three socio-culturally different countries. The paper presents the findings of a study of the perspectives of French, English and Italian students’ response to the question, ‘What do you think makes a good school?
Broadfoot, P. (2007). An Introduction to Assessment. New York: Continuum. Cook-Sather, A. (2002). Authorizing Students’ Perspectives: Toward Trust, Dialogue, and Change in Education, Educational Researcher, 31 (4): 3-14. Cook-Sather, A. (2007) What Would Happen If We Treated Students as Those With Opinions That Matter? The Benefits to Principals and Teachers of Supporting Youth Engagement in School, NASSP Bulletin, 91 (4): 343-362. Cook-Sather, A. (Ed.) (2009) Learning from the Student’s Perspective. A Sourcebook for Effective Teaching. London: Paradigm Publishers. European Commission (2014). Erasmus Plus. Programme Guide. Version 1: 01-01-2014. Fielding, M. (2001). Students as radical Agents of Change. Journal of Educational Change, 2: 123–141, 2001 Fielding, M. (2012), Beyond Student Voice: Patterns of Partnership and the Demands of Deep Democracy, Revista de Educación, 359: 45-65. Flutter, J. & Rudduck, J. (2004) Consulting Pupils. What’s in it for Schools?. Oxon: Routledge. Grion, V. (2013). Partecipazione e responsabilità nelle Indicazioni Nazionali per il curricolo del primo ciclo d’istruzione (pp.136-154). In V. Grion, A. Cook-Sahter (Eds.), Student Voice. Prospettive Internazionali e pratiche emergenti in Italia. Milano: Guerini. Levin, B. (2000) Putting Students at the Centre in Education Reform, Journal of Educational Change, 1: 155–172. Mc Ness, E. (2006). “Nous écouter, nous soutenir, nous apprendre: a comparative study of pupils’ perceptions of the pedagogic progress”. Comparative Education 42 (4): 517-532. Sargeant, J (2012). Prioritising student voice: ‘Tween’ children's perspectives on school success, Education 3-13: 1-11. Rudduck, J. & Flutter, Julia (2000). Pupil participation and pupil perspective: carving a new order of experience, Cambridge Journal of Education, 30 (1): 75-89. Rudduck J., Chaplain R., & Wallace G. (1996) School Improvement: What Can Pupils Tell Us?. London: David Fulton. Stobart, G. (2008). Testing Times. The uses and abuses of assessment. Oxon: Routledge
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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