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Radical student participation: lessons from an urban government primary school in Tigray, Ethiopia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-114
Number of pages17
JournalCompare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Issue number1
Early online date20 Oct 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 20 Oct 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Oct 2017
DatePublished (current) - 2 Jan 2019


Recent policies in Ethiopia put students at the heart of school improvement through structures for peer leadership and school-level consultation, evaluation and decision-making. This article draws on an ethnographic study of a government school in Tigray, Ethiopia, to explore how the participation and influence of students is achieved and mediated by structures and processes in school. Three key contexts of student participation are explored: positions of peer leadership (monitor, ‘one-to-five’ network leader); public evaluation sessions (gim gima); and the Parent Student Teacher Association (PSTA). Recommendations are made for sharing and strengthening democratic practices and for future research.

    Research areas

  • Accountability, Ethiopia, peer learning, school improvement, student leadership, student participation, student voice, sub-Saharan Africa


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