School reform of one kind or another is a priority for education systems the world over. Yet the voices of students - those most affected by, and most pivotal to, the success or failure of any program of school reform - are rarely heard on this topic. This is the first book to look at school reform from the perspective of the students. The studies included in this collection focus on reform initiatives aimed at overcoming persistent patterns of racial, class and gender inequality. The authors combine the theoretical aspects of research with its practical applications, making this an invaluable resource for teacher educators, classroom practitioners, researchers and policymakers.
Critical Voices in School Reform: Students Living Through Change is divided into two parts. Part one describes and analyses programs of reform that turned out contrary to the intentions of adult reformers, illustrating the - often unspoken - tension between adult and student perspectives on school change. Part two looks at reform initiatives that were able to harness student energies and thereby improve pupils' engagement with school life. These reforms, which are finely attuned to the needs and interests of students, offer clear, valuable guidance to those trying to create more equitable school experiences. A concluding chapter draws together the themes and insights gained from looking at school reform through a student-centred lens and offers suggestions for more relevant and lasting reform.
Beth C. Rubin is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Elena M. Silva is Director of Research for the American Association of University Women.
'[This book] is about the view of the people at the very centre of the debate - the students ... The unsurprisingly lesson is that students are like their teachers - change you do together works much better than change that is done to you.' - Times Educational Supplement