More people are doing more to deliberately change the world than ever before. They are creating jobs, building the economy, and circulating wealth in brand new ways that we can all learn from. Here are a two examples:
Creating a safe and supportive learning environment is vital to engaging student voice.
A great way to do that is through reflection. Reflection is a process of looking back on an experience and deciphering the meaning of it. This post shares some activities to foster that process.
7 Student Voice Reflection Activities
There are several activities facilitators can use to foster reflection on student…
There's a challenge faced by schools around the world. As educators continue to grasp the necessity and potential of student engagement in education, they're challenged to rethinking old models of how that happened.
In the past decade of my work, I concerned myself with identifying radically different approaches to integrating students as partners…Continue
Are you really committed to engaging student voice?
If you're an educator, administrator, policymaker or adult ally to student voice anywhere throughout the education system, you need to check yourself. We all do.
When working with students as an ally, its important to keep the focus on them instead of shifting it from them to us as adults. We should not, must not and…Continue
Almost all educators are well-meaning in their intentions for students. We genuinely want students to get good jobs and have successful. They create activities and opportunities, programs and entire organizations that intend to promote students success, in ways that many adults define it: Future-oriented, success equates to having good educations, nuclear…Continue
Its a strange thing having spent 25 years of my life working with, for, and among young people, especially when I'm just inching up on 40 years old myself. One of the things this career has afforded me is perspective: With the long view in mind, I can see things differently than others who've been in and out of the work in small increments. But at my age, I'm not an old…
In the United States there is a phenomenon called “failing schools.” The mainstream media here causes Americans to conjure up the worst images of these places: Crumbling ceilings, stacks of decrepit old books, and growling, ancient teachers. We see slouching, apathetic students who are hand-tied by their own intransigence, and indifferent parents who are incapable of raising…Continue
There are so many things that adults can do to end youth disengagement. For some reason, we’re just not ready to do them, despite solid research and strong examples from around the world. Recently, I shared “Six Reasons Youth Disengage“, even after all these years of interventions. However, there’s something we can all do about it.
If you’re an engaged educator, youth worker, parent, or…Continue
After almost 15 years of consulting nonprofits, K-12 schools, and government agencies across the United States and Canada, last year I took a position coordinating a dropout prevention program in the Pacific Northwest. Hungry to examine a different support system for youth I wasn't familiar with, I chose this program because it supports young people…Continue
There are a lot of people who want to change education. However, many get frustrated because they don't know what it takes.
After more than a decade of teaching people around the world how to do it, I've decided to share this list of key skills, abilities, knowledge, and dispositions necessary to improve education today. They're what has…Continue
There should never, ever be a grade, score, or test for student voice.
Reading over a recent report, the researchers suggested a measurement for student voice that accounted for participation and engagement, as well as depth and awareness. I was appalled, if only because of the asinine assumption that there is any student ever who hasn't shared their voice about schools. That is simply not true.
ANY and EVERY expression of a student about school, learning, or…Continue
How to Promote Student Voice in Education
1) Share Student Voice.
Student Voice is any expression of any learner anywhere, all the time, about anything related to learning, schools, and education. It doesn't depend on adult approval, it doesn't need specific spaces or energies, and is always present wherever students are. The question generally is whether adults in education want to hear what's being said.
If a student is talking in front of a group sharing their beliefs or experience, ideas or knowledge, they're sharing student voice. The same can…Continue
There are many roles in democracy-building by students. Following are several different opportunities for student to learn through action. When they're engaged in changing schools, students can be meaningfully involved in many ways.
The most important thing when engaging students in any role in school is to acknowledge their first duty: Learning. Their learning is paramount to being meaningfully involved throughout schools. Learning through meaningful student…Continue
A student/adult partnership is a conscious relationship between learners and adults in schools that establishes and sustains equitable interactions, attitudes, and cultures within schools. Forming student/adult partnerships has been key to many successful…Continue
Added by Adam Fletcher on September 23, 2013 at 1:30 — No Comments
As educators who work with students every single day, we have our secrets. They're not true for every adult, and being able to admit them takes courage, especially when we admit them to other adults we work with.
In our school cultures, a lot of lip service can be paid towards racial, gender, and other forms of discrimination. However, little is made of a very real form of discrimination that is undermining a lot of well-meaning educators' work with students today. This discrimination is called adultism.
In my new book, Ending Discrimination Against Young People, I define adultism in three ways:
When I write the phrase "student empowerment", I'm talking about students of all ages, including very young leaders and very old learners.
A long time ago, I wrote this definition of student empowerment: "Student empowerment is an attitudinal, structural, and cultural process in schools whereby students gain the ability, authority, and agency to make decisions and implement change in their own…Continue
Added by Adam Fletcher on September 4, 2013 at 1:30 — No Comments
Within the boundaries of the education system there are a thousand purposes for its existence. Some people insist on the purpose of schools being to…
Student voice is any expression of any learner anywhere about anything related to education.
Student voice is present throughout schools all of the time. Its the sound of students sharing their life experiences during class and the passion of students speaking at school board meetings. Its the friendships in the school lunchroom and the noise of the playground. Its also the bullies bullying and students texting answers back-and-forth illicitly during a test. All of this is student…