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ERIC Number: EJ914962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Through Students' Eyes: Students Offer Fresh Insights into Social Justice Issues in Schools
Cook-Sather, Alison
Journal of Staff Development, v31 n4 p42-45 Aug 2010
Like most policies and practices in education, agendas for achieving social justice in classrooms are defined and pursued by adults. Missing are the perspectives of those most directly affected by what educators decide and do: students. Research tells educators how to support diverse students' learning and thus to foster more equal opportunities for school success. Methods include building teaching approaches around themes that are relevant to and that emerge from students' own lives, developing well-informed strategies for countering discriminatory and exclusionary tendencies in education, and creating situations within which students feel empowered and motivated to participate constructively in their schooling. But students are best positioned to teach educators how to construct such approaches, strategies, and situations. Only students can tell educators what it feels like to experience those conditions (and not to experience them), how and when to implement them to greatest effect, and what else might support or hinder their learning. Without student perspectives, educators have only theories. By accessing their perspectives, educators afford themselves an opportunity to learn from and with students how to create learning opportunities that support their school success. Accessing students' perspectives is a complex activity requiring a high degree of awareness and responsibility on the part of educators. And yet, "given the vastly unequal educational outcomes among students of different backgrounds, equalizing conditions for student learning needs to be at the core of a concern for diversity." Learning from students about their diverse learning needs and how to create classroom environments in which they can succeed can contribute to such equalizing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A