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- How are students involved in the educational management process?
‘One of the successes of institutional audit has been student involvement. Many
institutions made the point that they already had close relations with students
in respect of QA. Student representatives are normally included in all main QA
committees and processes in institutions. However, the experience of preparing
for audit had facilitated a dialogue with the students’ union which was valuable to
both parties. In particular it was refreshing to have a renewed focus of attention in
this dialogue on the core business of student learning.’ (JM consulting, 2005: 27)
It can take significant effort for a student union to prepare a SWS. For many unions,
but especially the smaller ones, finding the officer time for involvement has been an
issue. However the NUS has stressed that students do find their involvement in this way
valuable and continue to be in support of the process.
- Why do many educational leaders consider students to be stakeholders in the educational management process?
A stakeholder is anyone who is involved in the welfare and success of a school and its students, including administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents, community members, school board members, city councilors and state representatives.
Stakeholders may also be collective entities, such as organizations, initiatives, committees, media outlets, and cultural institutions. They have a stake in the school and its students, which means they have personal, professional, civic, financial interest or concern in the school.
Stakeholder engagement is considered vital to the success and improvement of a school. The involvement of the broader community of the school with it can improve communication and public understanding and allows for the incorporation of the perspectives, experiences and expertise of participating community members to improve reform proposals, strategies, or processes.
Parent, family and community involvement can have a different meaning for different people. A research-based framework developed by Joyce Epstein of John Hopkins University, describes six types of involvement:
- Parenting: Help families by providing them with parenting skills and family support, make them understand the phases of child development, its complexities and ways to cope with it. Help schools understand backgrounds and cultures of families and their goals for children.
- Communicating: Create reliable communication channels between school and home to communicate with families about school programs and student progress.
- Volunteering: Enable educators to work with volunteers who support students and the school. Involve families as volunteers and as audiences at the school.
- Learning at Home: Encourage the involvement of families in their children’s academic learning at home through curriculum-related activities such as including homework and goal setting.
- Decision Making: Make families participants in school decisions, governance and advocacy activities.
- Collaborating with the Community: Co-ordinate resources and services for families, students and the school with community groups such as businesses, cultural and civic organizations, colleges or universities.
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