School Administrator, June 2020
The Exercise of Student Voice
Truth be told, the work I do now as editor of a monthly magazine had its launching point back in high school. I took a journalism elective course as an 11th grader taught by an outstanding teacher and subsequently joined the monthly student newspaper that led to an after-school sports reporting job with my hometown daily.
Scholastic journalism has had its ups and downs and taken some different directions in the decades since, yet student publications continue to serve the important purpose of amplifying student voice, the theme of this month’s issue. Students who work on their schools’ yearbooks, newspapers, news magazines, video programs and online publications are getting opportunities to practice real-world applications of effective communication and creative thinking skills — exactly what schools ought to be delivering these days.
Readers will find considerable attention to this underappreciated facet of scholastic journalism. Our coverage includes some thoughtful positions
of support by school system leaders
and a piece about student journalists keeping their communities informed
during the pandemic crisis in spite of being confined to their own homes.
Harvard researcher Jal Mehta lends further support
, calling attention to the valuable learning that students receive in peripheral aspects of their schooling, notably their after-school extracurriculars.
Perhaps there’s never been a more important moment for the exercise of voice. Educators ought to do what they can to flex their students’ muscles.
Jay P. Goldman
Editor, School Administrator