Learning from the Student's Perspective: A Sourcebook for Effective Teaching

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Paradigm Publishers, 2010 - Education - 261 pages
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Much has been written about how to engage students in their learning, but very little of it has issued from students themselves. Compiled by one of the leading scholars in the field of student voice, this sourcebook draws on the perspectives of secondary students in the United States, England, Canada, and Australia as well as on the work of teachers, researchers, and teacher educators who have collaborated with a wide variety of students.
Highlighting student voices, it features five chapters focused on student perspectives, articulated in their own words, regarding specific approaches to creating and maintaining a positive classroom environment and designing engaging lessons and on more general issues of respect and responsibility in the classroom. To support educators in developing strategies for accessing and responding to student voices in their own classrooms, the book provides detailed guidelines created by educational researchers for gathering and acting upon student perspectives. To illustrate how these approaches work in practice, the book includes stories of how pre-service and in-service teachers, school leaders, and teacher educators have made student voices and participation central to their classroom and school practices. And finally, addressing both practical and theoretical questions, the book includes a chapter that outlines action steps for high school teachers, school leaders, and teacher educators and a chapter that offers a conceptual framework for thinking about and engaging in this work. Bringing together in a single text student perspectives, descriptions of successful efforts to access them in secondary education contexts, concrete advice for practitioners, and a theoretical framework for further exploration, this sourcebook can be used to guide practice and support re-imagining education in secondary schools of all kinds, and the principles can be adapted for other educational contexts.

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About the author (2010)

Alison Cook-Sather is Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Initiative at Bryn Mawr College. She works with undergraduate students seeking state certification to teach at the secondary level and college faculty members interested in developing their teaching. Her research focuses on metaphors for education and student voice, and her most recent books are International Handbook of Student Experience in Elementary and Secondary School, coedited with Dennis Thiessen (Springer 2007), and Education Is Translation: A Metaphor for Change in Learning and Teaching (University of Pennsylvania Press 2006).

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