Where are the Coconspirators? Examining Performative Youth Allyship and Opposition by Educational Leaders in K-12 Schools

Ashley D. Domínguez, Melanie Bertrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research argues the importance of including young people, especially youth of color, to participate in educational leadership. However, adults who enact performative allyship towards these youth leaders often obstruct young people’s ability to authentically participate in educational decision making and achieve justice-driven outcomes in K-12 school policy and practice. We examine this phenomenon by exploring how teachers and administrators perform allyship towards youth voice initiatives and/or school recommendations, if at all. Interviews with educational leaders about youth voice initiatives indicated a spectrum of adult responses, including direct opposition, performative youth allyship, and passive forms of allyship which reinforce adultism and deter overall goals for youth voice and shared leadership. However, we also found that adults who enlist the role of coconspirator, who amplify youth voice initiatives on both the front and backstage and increase opportunity for educational reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-582
Number of pages24
JournalUrban Review
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Coconspiracy
  • Educational leadership
  • Performative youth allyship
  • Youth voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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