This international seminar, Amplifying Student Voice and Partnership, will convene experts from practice, research and policy realms from around the world to consider the pressing questions of amplifying youth voice and the development of the youth-adult partnership paradigm. We will explore:
IMPLEMENTATION: What does participation and engagement of youth and adults in learning and education look like across P-20 contexts? What are the essential components of the development and implementation of these efforts?
EVALUATION: How can research capture the essence of voice, partnership and leadership, including outcomes for individuals and institutions? What outcomes are valued in youth voice work and how should they be measured?
SUSTAINABILITY: What contexts and conditions enable or constrain youth-adult partnership efforts to endure beyond the initial burst of enthusiasm? How can positive examples be implemented in other settings? How can we collaborate to build acceptance and advocacy for a youth-adult partnership paradigm shift in education from multiple stakeholder perspectives, including teacher training programs?
The annual Cambridge Student Voice Seminar was established in 2010 in honor of Dr. Jean Rudduck, a pioneer and ardent advocate for elevating the role of students in school redesign. Dr. Alison Cook Sather, internationally recognized as a researcher and leader in the field of amplifying youth voice, hosted these invitation-only gatherings at the University of Cambridge, England, in partnership with Dr. Bethan Morgan. Each year approximately 70 youth voice researchers, practitioners and student leaders from around the world have gathered to share their wisdom, passion and diverse means to a common vision. A vital learning community evolved, sharing work through presentations, structured dialogue, small group work sessions, and informal networking.
One important outcome of these five years is the new peer review journal from the Pennsylvania State University, the International Journal of Student Voice, spearheaded by Dr. Dana Mitra. An e-mail listserv has continued to network the group between seminars — a forum to share the latest research, cutting-edge practices, or to seek answers to shared dilemmas. As a nascent field, this network has reaffirmed the importance of our collective efforts and the synergy to be harnessed when we support one another.
Although funding for the Cambridge Student Voice Seminar ended this past year, the desire to continue to convene and further this international agenda did not. The University of Vermont Education Department, the Donald J. Willower Center for the Study of Leadership and Ethics at Pennsylvania State University, and UP for Learning (a Vermont nonprofit focused on youth-adult partnership development) will host the next iteration of this growing network.
Location & logistics
Dates and times
• July 6, 1–5 p.m.
• July 7, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. • July 8, 9 a.m.–noon.
Location: University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA. The University of Vermont (UVM) is located in Burlington, the birthplace of John Dewey and the largest city in the state (population 55,000). The city is situated on the shore of Lake Champlain, overlooking the Adirondack mountain range in the adjacent state of New York. The Green Mountains are immediately to the east. The city has a vibrant waterfront area and a wide array of excellent restaurants. Burlington is less than two hours from Montreal, three hours from Boston and five hours from New York City.
Cost: Funding has been secured to cover the cost of the meeting facility and food during our seminar sessions, thanks to the generosity of the Bay and Paul Foundations. Participants will be responsible for all travel and lodging expenses and meals not otherwise provided. Honors Dorm rooms have been secured for those who would appreciate this lower-cost housing option.
Interested? Next steps . . .
As an invitation-only event with a maximum of 80 participants, it is important to have a realistic sense of who can commit to attend next year’s gathering as soon as possible.