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Student Voice

In Authorizing Students’ Perspectives: Toward Trust, Dialogue, and Change in Education, Alison Cook-Sather began with, “Since the advent of formal education in the United States, both the educational system and that system’s every reform have been premised on adults’ notions of how education should be conceptualized and practiced.” Might children have a notion?

My son and I would emphatically answer, “yes!” I am the mother of a 17-year old boy who is currently on his own in China! He is there because he has networked beyond his high school walls to organize his own interest-based itinerary and then embark upon this unique trip, where he is investigating and learning, based on what he finds personally interesting. Please know that this is not the only way to embed student voice into curriculum, yet during this student-driven learning, I have observed my “I’m not a fan of reading” son invest in reading to learn, order yet another must-have book from Amazon, write and then revise what he has learned through his research as well as a defense for this personal pursuit. I must say, I am completely intrigued by student voice in learning, as well as the impact of inviting, embracing and responding to that voice in education!

How has your voice impacted your own learning?

What is Curriculum?

Curriculum is generally understood to be the selection of content we teach.  It is actually, however, much more complex than this.  At The Park School, our lens on curriculum pushes us to examine not only what we want our students to learn and be able to do, but also why they should learn it, how we will determine their success and through which effective methods we will get them there.

Curriculum at Park is collaboratively designed, embracing the idea that students here are not the responsibility of one sole teacher, but the responsibility of all teachers.  We rely on one another to share ideas, challenge thinking, learn new methods and offer support.  Teachers, specialists, coaches and administrators focus on making decisions together to best meet the many varied needs of our student body.  This environment of collaboration in pursuit of an excellent educational experience is an invigorating one that I feel grateful to be a part of each and every day!