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Authorizing students‘ perspectives: Toward trust, dialogue, and change in education

By Alison Cook-sather


This article argues for attending to the perspectives of those most directly affected by, but least often consulted about, educational pol-icy and practice: students. The argument for authorizing student per-spectives runs counter to U.S. reform efforts, which have been based on adults ' ideas about the conceptualization and practice of educa-tion. This article outlines and critiques a variety of recent attempts to listen to students, including constructivist and critical pedagogies, postmodern and poststructural feminisms, educational researchers' and social critics ' work, and recent developments in the medical and legal realms, almost all of which continue to unfold within and rein-force adults ' frames of reference. This discussion contextualizes what the author argues are the twin challenges of authorizing student per-spectives: a change in mindset and changes in the structures in edu-cational relationships and institutions. Since the advent of formal education in the United States

Year: 1981
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