The power of student empowerment: Measuring classroom predictors and individual indicators
Kirk, Chris Michael
Lewis, Rhonda K.
Brown, Kyrah K.
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Chris Michael Kirk, Rhonda K. Lewis, Kyrah Brown, Brittany Karibo, and Elle Park. The power of student empowerment: Measuring classroom predictors and individual indicators. Journal Of Educational Research, Vol. 109:no. 6:pp589-595
Despite spending more money per student than almost all developed nations, the United States lags behind in educational indicators with persistent disparities between privileged and marginalized students. Most approaches have ignored the role of power dynamics in predicting student performance. Building on the existing literature in school climate and empowering settings, this study explored the construct of student empowerment to identify both environmental factors that predict increased empowerment and outcomes associated with empowerment. A survey was administered to 381 students from five urban high schools. Results suggest that intrapersonal student empowerment is predicted by equitable power use by teachers, positive teacher-student relationships and a sense of community in the classroom. Highly empowered students reported better grades, fewer behavioral incidents, increased extracurricular participation and higher educational aspirations than students who were less empowered. Limitations are discussed alongside implications for educational practice and future research.
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