College of Education > News and Publications > 2016: 04-06 news > College of Education faculty member to co-host international seminar

College of Education faculty member to co-host international seminar

Dana Mitra, associate professor of educational theory and policy in the Penn State College of Education, will represent the University as co-host for an international seminar on “Amplifying Student Voice and Partnership,” which will be held July 6-8 at the University of Vermont (UVM).

Dana Mitra
Dana Mitra
Dana Mitra, associate professor of educational theory and policy in the Penn State College of Education, will represent the University as co-host for an international seminar on “Amplifying Student Voice and Partnership,” which will be held July 6-8 at the University of Vermont (UVM). Other co-hosts for the first U.S.-based international seminar on this topic are Vermont’s UP for Learning organization and the University of Vermont.

How can youth and adults work as partners? Educators bring a wealth of professional expertise in both teaching and school redesign efforts; they have a systems-level perspective and a wide array of skills accrued over time. Less understood is the fact that young people hold a perspective on the learning experience adults cannot fully fathom. They are highly invested in shaping the world where their lives will unfold, and they possess a deep desire to make a difference now. Young people have the wisdom, creativity, and proven capacity to partner in both their learning and in school remodeling efforts.

This seminar is designed to identify means to elevate student voice and youth-adult partnership further in learning and school change internationally by exploring themes of implementation, evaluation, and sustainability; mobilizing collective resources; and increasing participants’ roles as advocates in their unique realms.

Over the course of three days at the UVM Seminar in July, researchers, leaders in teacher training programs, field-based organizations and practitioners will explore core dilemmas and research-based solutions to the challenges of elevating student voice. Participants are traveling to Vermont from six countries; 15 colleges and universities spanning 10 states; eight community-based organizations serving youth in six states; and high schools — including both youth and adult representatives — from three states. A number of Vermont Agency of Education policy leaders also will attend.

This group will be committed to strengthening the bridge between the research and practitioner realms, in order to advance the work they recognize as fundamental to the integrity of school redesign here and abroad.