Handbook Teaching

Meaningful Student Involvement Nurtures Commitment

There are several outcomes to Meaningful Student Involvement. The fourth aim is to nurture a core commitment within all members of the school community—including teachers, administrators, school staff, parents, community supporters and others—to meaningfully involve students as learners, teachers and leaders throughout schools.

Aim 4: Nurture Core Commitment

This happens in collaborative, community-building classrooms, kindergarten through twelfth grade, where student/teacher partnerships are valued as primary tools for teaching, learning and leading. From the earliest grades all students are taught critical thinking and active leadership, and are engaged as purposeful learners who embrace multiple, diverse perspectives.

Democratic Schools in a Democratic Society

In a democratic society that relies on engaging people every day in their civic duties such as paying taxes, taking care of public spaces and voting, it is vital to establish the basis of that engagement. Public schools in the United States are supposed to serve that very basis, as they are in many nations around the world. United States president Franklin Roosevelt once said,

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

The problem comes when students and adults throughout the education system do not share that intention. There has to be a mutually agreed upon understanding that this is the commitment we should all share, and that understanding should be fostered among everyone involved in schools in any way.

Meaningful Student Involvement is a logical way to educate students about the role of schools in democracy; the absence of these opportunities speaks well for the opposite.


Questions to Ask

  1. What difference does it make if students are committed to Meaningful Student Involvement?
  2. What difference does it make if administrators are not committed?
  3. How can you instill commitment in others without manipulating them?



Related Articles


Student Voice Revolution: The Meaningful Student Involvement Handbook by Adam Fletcher

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