Student Participation in School Life: The "Student Voice" and Mitigated Democracy

Pereira, Fátima; Mouraz, Ana; Figueiredo, Carla
December 2014
Croatian Journal Educational / Hrvatski Casopis za Odgoj I Obraz;Dec2014, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p935
Academic Journal
Student participation in school life may be considered from the points of view of diverse theoretical frameworks that question different educational aspects related to such social involvement. Issues such as the construction of a democratic school, education for citizenship, active learning and student-centred education may be addressed when the object of one's study focuses on student participation. In the present study, we sought to learn how student participation is promoted in a given set of schools, and what class representatives, students' legal representatives, have to say about it. Data collection was performed by means of a self-description guide characterizing school practices with regard to students' participation and a semi-structured questionnaire administered to the class representatives and vice representatives. The participation described in the guide we have analysed involves mostly one representative type and reveals what is statutorily established. According to the representatives who participated in the study, the role of a student representative is not yet sufficiently valued by the school and by educational actors, namely by their constituents. Hence, it may be concluded that there is mitigated democracy present in the current education system.


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