Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being / Creating Healing Classrooms / Promoting Active Participation of Children and Youth

Promoting Active Participation of Children and Youth

As beneficial as active student participation is, we need to recognize the big challenges in fulfilling such rights in the learning environment in general. Four of those challenges are:

1. Teachers needing to maintain strict control: Many teachers have limited teaching experience. Inexperienced teachers tend to feel that they must keep a tight hold on whatever authority they have in the classroom. Teachers may feel that they would risk chaos and loss of authority if they were more consultative and participatory in their communication with students. The need for tight control challenges active student participation.

2. Traditions that don't support student participation: In some contexts, the challenge for active student participation comes from the traditions of schooling and of attitudes toward the participation of children and youth in decision-making. If teachers themselves were never involved in any decision-making when they were in school and were the subject of decisions made by their parents, teachers and principals, then they are likely to repeat the same attitudes in their own teaching style.