Student Voice, Citizenship and Regulated Spaces
chapterposted on 09.09.2020, 03:45 by Bronwyn WoodBronwyn Wood, Rowena Taylor, Rose Atkins
© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018. Student voice and youth citizenship participation programmes in school at times rest upon simplistic and naive assumptions of the hierarchies of power that are embedded in regulated spaces. Such assumptions can also result from the prevailing models of youth participation that often rely on oppositional notions of power between students and adults. In this chapter, we critique these positions by interrogating the exchanges of power between secondary school students and teachers during the implementation of a participatory social studies curriculum project in which students took ‘personal social action’ for assessment credits. Drawing on research with five schools in Aotearoa New Zealand involving classroom observations, student focus group interviews (n = 93), teacher interviews and collaborative research, we share two case studies which explore the influence students or teachers had on controlling the social action process. Our findings illustrate a highly dynamic and intergenerational process in which the locus of power continually moved between adults and students during the course of the social action process. The need for complex understandings of power-sharing is required if young people are to participate in student voice and citizenship action in the context of highly regulated school spaces.