Over the last week I have started developing a new wiki on Community Engagement in Education. While this initially arose from discussion at a workshop I presented I hope that people will contribute to it and share ideas.
People become more engaged when they are involved in co-constructing process. In our schools, where is the power held? Which are the voices that are heard? Often it is the teacher and the principal who take action, often without consulting, let alone involving others. The reality is that it is easier to do so and the complexities of the job can be wearying. No blame...but let's move forward.
There are benefits in giving away power and in involving others. This isn't a cop out. It isn't soft. It isn't a new liberal approach. When ownership is built there is more likely to be sustained change. If it is well planned it can share the load. It can also build leadership capacity in others.
In particular, it is timely for schools to be involving student voices in the dialogue. This is fundamental to the personalised learning process. As we identify and push towards meeting the needs of 21st century learners we need to consider what new technologies are being used, what engages students and how we can better listen to what students are saying. Contribute to the conversation.