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Student Voice in School Reform: Building Youth-Adult Partnerships That Strengthen Schools and Empower Youth


reviewed by Makeba Jones — September 16, 2008

coverTitle: Student Voice in School Reform: Building Youth-Adult Partnerships That Strengthen Schools and Empower Youth
Author(s): Dana L. Mitra
Publisher: State University of New York Press, Albany
ISBN: 0791473201, Pages: 132, Year: 2008
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Dana Mitra's book describes a study of the evolution of a student voice initiative at Whitman High School in northern California. Mitra provides rich descriptions of the context in which the initiative began at Whitman, the challenges that emerged along the way, and the innovative solutions the students developed to increase the capacity of the group to make changes at Whitman. The case study of Whitman does what other work on student voice has not done, which is provide ethnographic detail about the process of launching and sustaining a student voice initiative in a school and about the group processes and norms that influenced group dynamics. Such thick information offers educators and policymakers the opportunity to hear about concrete examples of student voice bolstering school reform efforts aimed at improving academic outcomes. Moreover, and perhaps most significant, Mitra describes the ways in which the high school created new structures to... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: September 16, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15378, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 6:48:19 PM

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About the Author
  • Makeba Jones
    University of California, San Diego
    MAKEBA JONES is an Associate Project Research Scientist at the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence at the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include urban school secondary reform, student voice, and youth engagement. She published an article on student voice, called "Student Co-Researchers: How principals can recruit, train and enlist the help of students to examine what works and does not work in their schools," in a 2007 issue of the National Association of Secondary School Principals Bulletin. In 2008 she published a chapter called "Use student inquiry to investigate the learning experience in racially mixed classrooms," in Everyday Antiracism: Concrete Ways to Successfully Navigate the Relevance of Race in School. Her current project includes working with urban high schools to train groups of students to be qualitative education researchers at their schools.
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