The Instrument of Change
- Russell J. Quaglia - Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations, President & Founder
- Michael J. Corso - Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations, Chief Academic Officer
Leadership | School Culture | Student Engagement & Motivation
Meaningful school reform starts with your most powerful partner—your students!
Students have plenty of opinions when it comes to school, and they’re not all about free ice cream in the cafeteria. When you take time to listen, you’ll find that students’ aspirations can drive your school toward exciting new goals. And when students know they’re being heard, they develop self-worth, engage meaningfully in their own academic success, and become purposeful in their educations.
This groundbreaking book presents a blueprint for enacting a successful partnership between educators and students. You’ll discover how to
- Ask the right questions—and understand how to build from the answers you get
- Engage students in decision-making and improvement-related processes
- Implement the Aspirations Framework to guide students toward achieving their full potential
Filled with examples drawn from student surveys, focus groups, field observations, and interviews, this unique resource prepares you to lead with the sure knowledge that your students can and will want to join you.
—Raymond J. McNulty, Dean of the School of Education
Southern New Hampshire University
“Words cannot accurately capture my impression. It is simply the best education book I've ever read. I'm blown away by the quality, humility, simplicity and complexity, and call to action.”
—Robert Neu, Superintendent
Oklahoma City Public Schools
"Student voice is an often missed element of promoting a positive school climate, where students take ownership of their learning experience. This books sheds light on the importance of this topic and provides practical advice on how to let student voice take a central role in promoting learning at school."
"This book speaks to a movement that many people talk about but few act upon, Student Voice. Russell Quaglia and Michael Corso have lived their professional careers listening to students and acting on what they have heard. Now they share what it takes for education to truly become student-centered."
"I just finished reading Student Voice. Words cannot accurately capture my impression. It is simply the best education book I've ever read. I'm blown away by the quality, humility, simplicity and complexity, and call to action."
"Schools have long told students to have goals and aspirations. But when it comes down to it, test scores and Adequate Yearly Progress stand in the paths of schools and students. This book lays out clearly that what students desire and what states require do not have to be mutually exclusive. I can’t wait to share Student Voice with my colleagues."
"Students routinely achieving their full potential, high performing schools becoming the new normal – Student Voice makes the compelling case that we can’t get there from here without fundamentally changing the culture of schools to listen and act on what students say about their schools, their lives, and their aspirations. Refreshingly straightforward, this book provides a unique mix of profound truths and practical guidance for transforming education."
"If you haven’t considered student voice, then this book is a must read with great ideas and insightful stories that should engage you further and might just influence your practice. If you’re already committed to student voice, then this book provides compelling evidence and vital structure that place student voice and aspirations front and center in education, a must-read aid to planning and implementation.
As we seek to increase schools’ relevance in an ever more rapidly changing world, this book outlines and details a model for the way forward. Quaglia and Corso combine evidence from students, guiding principles, and conditions for their implementation in schools, stories from practice and practical notes to assist reflection and development. Written in an accessible and easy-to-read style, they together form powerful positive guidance for teaching and learning, and for change in schools."
"Student Voice not only captures the urgency of our professional, societal, and moral imperatives to transform the educational system, but it also provides a thoughtful, thought-provoking, and well-researched framework for ensuring that all of our students can and will pursue and attain their aspirations. With moving stories and insights from students and teachers, heartfelt personal anecdotes, extensive analyses of data, and a deep understanding of the power of shared leadership, Dr. Quaglia and Dr. Corso have crafted a roadmap for the journey all of us as learners seek to travel—the road on which the voices of our students are the instruments of change in creating the future. Student Voice connects the dots of what too often seem to be disparate research about and facets of the elements of student achievement of academic, social, and personal aspirations and offers a comprehensive and coherent road to actualizing deep, meaningful, and sustainable change."
"Student Voice is the result of many years of experience working with students and teachers around the world – and it shows. Drs. Quaglia and Corso have stuffed every nook and cranny of this book with practical ways to understand young people that are both sensible and profound. This is your go-to field guide for student aspirations."
"This book captures the essence of what has been missing in educational reform for the past several decades, in that it highlights the perspectives that matter most—the students’. Having witnessed the transformational potential of inculcating the Aspirations Framework into a school, “student voice” will forever serve as the lodestar in the development of curriculum, instruction, and policy in my professional practice. The Aspirations Framework opens the door to this new era in education; in fact, student voice is the “McLuhanian” medium that will transform education in the 21st century, only if we, educators and society as a whole, take the time to listen."
"Quaglia and Corso champion student voice in this beautiful and inspirational narrative. This book provides a career-changing framework for educators to listen, learn, and lead; driven by the most important voice of all. My personal Aspiration is now to dream and do more to elevate student voice. Student Voice is a MUST READ for every educator seeking to meaningfully impact the lives of students."