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Student participation in decision-making : a review of student participation in decision-making and its validity in terms of learning outcomes and social values

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Fuglsang, AJ ORCID: 0000-0002-7748-1127 1990 , 'Student participation in decision-making : a review of student participation in decision-making and its validity in terms of learning outcomes and social values', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Student participation in decision-making in secondary education has gained a great deal of respectability over the last two decades. Historically it is supported by contributions from both political and educational theorists. Recent growth in the acceptance of the approach is attributed to the influence of social values and government sponsorship. There are concerns that the approach is primarily a product of social values and that it has a limited potential to determine educational outcomes. The discussion focuses on these concerns and develops the proposition that student participation serves to fulfil a number of fundemental educational purposes. It is recognised that there is a limitation in the availability of empirical evidence to substantiate the case for student participation. In many cases participatory approaches are responses to new problems that are the result of rapid and recent social change. As such they can only be plausible and not proven at this stage. It is suggested that : democratic socialisation is most effectively achieved through an experience based approach which accommodates all the varied forms of democratic decision-making that function in our society : Individual skill in problem solving can be enhanced through participation in decision-making: The integration of the student in the school community through a sharing of decision-making responsibility can facilitate the achievement of a wide range of educational goals as a product of increased student motivation.
The question of the 'common curriculum' is examined and documents from the United Kingdom and the United States considered to determine the degree of constraint that this movement may impose on student participation. The notion of 'client rights' is evaluated and it is concluded that any obligation educators have to implement student decision-making strategies springs from considerations of educational outcomes.
Subject choice and student representation are presented as limited approaches to student participation. It is recommended that a cross curricula approach be taken to the inclusion of a wide range of decision-making experience. A selection of approaches to student participation is presented. Approaches that involve students at a number of decision-making levels are described. These include student contributions to curriculum planning, student representation programmes and classroom approaches, Curriculum Negotiation and Personal Interest Projects.
The discussion is based on a number of working definitions that are established for the key concepts of 'participation', 'decision-making' and 'client rights'.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Fuglsang, AJ
Keywords: Student participation in administration, Curriculum planning, Curriculum change
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1990 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 121-129). Thesis (MEdStud)--University of Tasmania, 1991

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