As we prepare students through character development for their future role as engaged citizens in a democratic and diverse society, we are moving away from entrenched adultism and toward a cycle of positive change. In so doing, we can question and redefine the traditional model of school, teaching and teacher-student relationships.
Since we are breaking with a long-held tradition, moving forward in this exciting direction can feel like uncharted territory, particularly if our school culture has a very different orientation. In so doing, we need to consider two key elements to launch and shape our process: redefining power and respecting young people’s capacity.
If we believe in any way that society has paradigms that need to be shifted, that we need to move forward, then we need to empower those who are most shunned, that are most pushed off to the side. We need to give them the microphone and let them speak. I think that’s the necessary thing for social change.