The aims of Meaningful Student Involvement include every student. For instance, the second aim is to engage students at all grade levels and in all subjects as contributing stakeholders in teaching, learning, and leading in schools.
Aim 2: Engage All Students
There are no “across-the-board” limitations, such as race, gender, socio-economic status, school size, or subject matter, or developmental roadblocks, like age, academic performance or physical disabilities that prohibit Meaningful Student Involvement. Educators in all grade levels are equally charged with the responsibility of infusing hope into learning. Meaningful Student Involvement also extends across and integrates within all curricula, challenging the social studies teacher equally with the physical education teacher.
More Than Some
Unfortunately, in many student leadership activities and traditional student involvement opportunities throughout schools today, there is an unspoken belief that only some students can be involved. Requirements around academic participation, behavior and teacher permission often coincide with racial and socio-economic gaps between students who participate and those who do not. The adult educators who sponsor these opportunities also frequently mirror those gaps, all of which combine to demonstrate a “student involvement gap” that is much like the academic achievement gap present throughout many schools today.
Even in schools where there are largely homogenous student bodies, there are still disparities among students who are involved and those who are not. These can shake out along the lines of parent involvement, historical family cultural attitudes towards education, and teacher support for student engagement.
Questions to Ask
- Which students are allowed to become meaningfully involved in your school?
- Which students and adults are they allowed to become involved with?
- Which students are not meaningfully involved?
You May Also Be Interested In…
- Aims of Meaningful Student Involvement
- Student Voice Revolution: Meaningful Student Involvement Handbook
- SoundOut Student Voice Bibliography