Focus of this chapter: A collection of guidelines, question sets, and exercises developed by researchers in the United States to gather student perspectives on their schooling experiences1

Discussed in this chapter:

• Background on this resource • Tips for structuring dialogues with students • Reminders for respectful discussions • Question sets and exercises to prompt discussions with students • Theme 1: Personal connections to the teacher • Theme 2: Expectations and motivation • Theme 3: Learning inside the classroom and out • Theme 4: Classroom climate and management

In the book Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students (2003), urban teenagers across the country speak bluntly about their school experiences. Their comments, gathered during intensive discussions and writing sessions with researchers at the nonprofit group What Kids Can Do, Inc. (www.whatkidscando.org), met with immediate interest

on publication. Many educators, even those seasoned by years in the classroom, found themselves struck by aspects of the student experience that had somehow slipped their notice. “This book is both painful and wonderful to read,” commented Deborah Meier, whose career as an educational leader spans over forty years.