Following are four basic ways that all adults throughout the education system treat students today. Further in this book I explore more ways in depth.
- Students as Objects: Adults treat students as inanimate objects, exercising arbitrary and total control over them. All classes, programs and activities throughout education are done TO students.
- Students as Recipients: After deciding what is best for students, adults determine needs, prescribe remedies, implement solutions and evaluate outcomes with little or no student input. All classes, programs and activities are FOR students.
- Students as Resources: Adults see students as capable of sharing student voice, listening to students while they are planning, implementing and evaluating classes, programs and activities throughout the education system.
- Student as Partners: Students and adults are actively engaged in equitable partnerships where they share authority, ability and accountability. (Innovation Center, 2005)
The last basic way is the foundation of Meaningful Student Involvement: Student/Adult Partnerships.