Conclusion: The intersection of student voice and policy research

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This concluding chapter examines how this book on student voice intersects with previous research about policy implementation and sustainability, focusing on three issues: (a) Legitimizing the role of young people in the policy and reform process. This book considers how to reconceptualize the role of young people in educational systems as policy actorsrather than as clients. Building on theoretical concepts of positioning and reframing, it articulates how young people have the right to participate in conversations and decisions that affect their lives. (b) Preparing adults to work with young people. The book also amplifies the need to develop structures that can maximize the benefits of the partnership for young people, adults, and the policy system. While adults can create barriers to authentic student participation, student voice efforts can teach adults how to work with young people as partners. When adults refuse to partner, the book demonstrates how student voice activities can serve as a social movement to challenge adults to rethink relationships withstudents. (c) Sustaining ongoing student voice work. The book also considers the contexts and conditions that might enable the sustainability of successful student voice efforts. Aligning with an intermediary organization can serve as a bridge for sharing knowledge and resources between student voice efforts. Additionally, inquiry-based processes can create a structure for creating meaningful student voice work. The book focuses mostly on a particular form of inquiry-Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), which allows an exchange of ideas, critique, and expertise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-250
Number of pages14
JournalTeachers College Record
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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