Infrastructuring Student Agency

Supporting students to actively and critically participate in their own learning requires extensive infrastructure in schools that serve historically nondominant students. As this report documents, students from these backgrounds tend to have fewer opportunities than their more privileged peers to express and draw from their diverse voices and assets in schools. Disrupting this legacy of marginalization requires attention to multiple levels of the educational ecology. In this report, researchers and practitioners examine the ecology of a community school committed to student agency and democratic participation. As a reform strategy, community schools are anchored by collaborative structures that create roles and processes for students to participate meaningfully in knowledge creation and governance at schools. We share our experience creating these structures in order to help other educators and policymakers design and implement organizational and pedagogical practices that position students as key partners in learning and governance in schools.