ERIC Number: ED477189
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Empowering Nonentities: Students in Educational Reform. The School Ethnography Project.
Muncey, Donna E.; McQuillan, Patrick J.
This report examines five dimensions of various initiatives intended to empower students. It is based on two case studies of schools belonging to the Coalition of Essential Schools, a school-reform project aimed at improving teaching and learning in American schools. The report focuses on the level of power that administrators and teachers considered shifting to students at these two schools. It looks at the processes by which the schools empowered students by creating formal structures that would elicit critical student input. The paper discusses whether a shared definition of empowerment was ever sought or achieved and makes the claim that "student empowerment" is an imprecise term. Continuing in this vein of the nature of empowerment, the report discusses how students responded to proposed changes and how they, rather than being passive receptors, were active participants in interactions with teachers. Finally, the paper considers the larger question of what type of power legitimately belongs to students in the empowerment process. The schools under study never resolved the question of appropriate student power and never included students in these discussions. The report cautions that as long as empowerment is bestowed by the powerful on the less powerful, certain problems will arise. (RJM)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Student Empowerment, Student Leadership, Student Role, Teacher Student Relationship
CES National, 1814 Franklin St., Suite 700, Oakland, CA 94612 ($6). Tel: 510-433-1451; Fax: 510-433-1455; Web site: http://www.essentialschools.org/.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Coalition of Essential Schools, Providence, RI.