A Review of "Student Perspectives on School Improvement."
Meaningful Student Involvement Research Review by Adam Fletcher.
Perspectives traces the development of a survey that measures
students’ ideas and concerns about particular learning activities in
schools. Each activity is explored, combining a review of the
literature and findings from empirical research from the survey.
The purpose of the survey was to:
‘user-friendly’ instrument to find out the views of students on the
Record students’ views on how
schools were run.
Testify to the validity of the
student voice in providing information on how schools can improve.
The researcher explored six primary
classroom ‘conditions’ that were contended to improve student
Affinity to teachers
Orientation to learning
Adjustment to school
Using data from 6,000 high
school-age students in 40 schools across the United Kingdom, combined
with a comprehensive literature review, the study presented 24
statements relating to specific teaching activities that are
associated with the above classroom conditions. Next, these results
were compared to previous studies that measured teachers’ perceptions
of the same items.
important to students, who frequently cite school attendance, good
behavior and finding classroom equipment as primary examples of the
things they control in school.
not often reflect on school, and feel uncomfortable seeking help
from teachers. In the absence of these key components students will
find it difficult to assess with any accuracy how well they are
doing, and how they can improve.
have a limited teaching repertoire, and students find many lessons
uninteresting and easy to disengage from.
students generally show positive attitudes toward schoolwork and
In the seventh
grade, students are generally enthusiastic about their schools. They
take greatest care about what they report to parents, they find
teachers more helpful than other years, they are extremely
enthusiastic about their lessons, claim to work harder than other
years and are happier with school rules.
boys seem most discontented with school. They appear to be the group
least able to self-assess, the group with poorest relationships with
teachers, and the group whose self-perception of their own behavior
Of the girls,
tenth graders seem the most discontented. They are the least
reflective of their courses, they have the poorest relationships
with their teachers and they have most complaints about school
rules. Boys show similar traits in eleventh grade.
suggests that the findings derived from the survey provide a
useful focus for the dialogue between teachers and students, which is
a critical factor in improving students’ learning.
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