NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL
strongest proponents of respect for the child as driver of their own learning was Maria Montessori. She felt that students learn best when they have a level of developmentally appropriate autonomy (Lockhorst, Wubbels, & Van Oers, 2010; Lapota, Wallace, & Finn, 2005; Montessori, 1967). The Montessori method fosters free and open discourse in which a student has a voice where meaningful learning can occur (Lockhorst, Wubbels, & Van Oers, 2010). Similarly, John Dewey viewed education as a democratic exercise, requiring student involvement in their own educational choices (Dewey, 2009). Another pedagogical innovator who has emphasized student involvement in their own education is Loris Malaguzzi. His development of the Reggio Emilia approach was founded on the idea that the child/student is capable of being an active participant in their own learning (Caldwell & Gandini, 1997). Malaguzzi espoused a less hierarchical structure in the classroom, replaced instead by a collaborative relationship between student and teacher. In the Reggio Emilia model, each student is treated as a part of the community of learning (Caldwell & Gandini, 1997). Many other authors have emphasized the importance of meaningful student involvement in their own education as curriculum designers, self-advocates, and evaluators in the classroom (Fielding, 2001; Fletcher, 2005; Friere, 1998; Klein, 2003; Wilson & Corbett, 2001). Importantly, there is data to support the value of soliciting student feedback. Rathunde and Csikszentmihalyi (2005) found that compared to traditional educational settings, schools in which student
feedback was regularly solicited reported, “higher affect, potency… and intrinsic motivation,”
than schools with lower levels of student feedback (p.363). Additionally, Kennedy, and Datnow (2011) have identified increased student involvement as a common trait found in highly effective schools, and Westling Allodi (2007) found that when student feedback is utilized to improve classroom climate, learning outcomes improve.