Student as a Center of School Reform

In Manajemen Sekolah, Pendidikan Indonesia, Pendidikan Jepang, Penelitian Pendidikan, SMA di Jepang on Januari 3, 2009 at 8:38 am

Short paper presented at The 16th Indonesia Scientific Conference

at Kyoto University, 25 Aug 2007

Student as a Center of School Reform

~Case Study of Tatsuno Senior High School, Nagano Prefecture ~

Murni Ramli

Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan

Abstract– The theory of school reform mostly focus on the school management, curriculum, teacher quality, community partnership, teaching methodology or learning process, which always put teachers and school administrators as the key persons of reform. This study recommends another perspective to reform the school by putting students as the center of reformation process.  The study focuses on the school reform practiced in Tatsuno SHS (TSHS) located in Tatsuno city, Kamiina, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.  There are two approaches to involve students in reforming TSHS, first is Sansyakyougikai (The Association of Student, Teacher and Parent) and Gakkou Fouramu (School forum).  The main objective of this study is to analyze the mechanism of involving students in school reform, determine the factors which make the process work properly, and study the possibility to be adopted by other schools.

Keywords: school reform, school based local community, student participation

I.           Introduction

School reform theoretically means involve all the stakeholders in the Plan Do Check Action (PDCA) cycle process, but in general school reform typically means teacher, school administrators, and parents works [1][2]

The idea that participation is a requisite for commitment to change and for successful change is now generally regarded as a received truth [3], but the term of participation here mainly leading to teacher and parent’s responsibility. Only few works pay attention to student participation [3]. However, to involve students in school reform and to set up their appropriate assignments or authorities are not simple matters. In some countries, students are involved in school governing through school committee, but in many cases, this approach does not run properly.


There are two kinds of students’ participation models that TSHS being practiced, i.e. sansyakyougikai and gakkou fouramu [4].  The first approach is the partnership of teachers, students and parents to discuss about things related to student’s problems, school’s rule, school’s uniform, school finance, or the internal aspects of the school.

The second model is the expanding of first model by enhancing the participants such as community, government, and university members to think about problems related to the local society, regional development or the external aspects of the school.


The models have been started by performing the internal and external school evaluation which put the students not only as the object of the evaluation but also as the evaluators.  School evaluation is argued as the starting point to promote students’ participation in the school reform.

Through these participation models, students are nurtured as the agent of social change, as well as training them to solve the problems through cooperation and collaboration with society members. The models are also fostered by the contribution of adults in nurturing students’ personality in one side, and could be as approaches to perform school reform as the main goals.

IV.       Conclusions

The TSHS’s models as the alterative models of students’ participation in school reform could be applied in any level of schools.

To make the process effectively, the school administrators and teachers have to function as mediators which have to build the bridge between students and their community through some activities, such as internal and external school evaluation.

School reform can be defined as the progress of school   which could be performed by students.


[1]     Cohen, D, “What is the system in systematic reform?” Educational Researcher, vol. 24(9), pp.11-71,31,1995.

[2]     Kalin, J. And Milena V.Z.  2007.  Teacher perceptions of the goals of effective school reform and their own role in it.  Educational Studies, vol.33,pp163-175.  2007

[3]     Levin, Benyamin.  Putting students at the centre in education reform.  Journal of Educational Change vol.1, pp155-172. 2000.

[4]     Miyashita, Yohee.  Gakkou o kaeruseitotachi, sansyakyougikai ga nezuku nagano ken tatsuno koukou. Kamogawa Publisher, Kyoto, Japan. 2004.

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