Resources on Engaging Student Voices
Explore resources related to recognizing and valuing student knowledge, input, and expertise and building student-centered learning environments where students make decisions about how learning happens.
Empowering Student Voices
- Student Power! by Milton Chen (2014)
If knowledge is power, and that power is now in the hands of students, shouldn't that change power relationships in schools?
- Prioritizing Student Voices, by Joshua Block (2014)
In order to find value in their learning, students need to find their voices. Teachers can encourage student participation by enabling rather than enforcing it.
- Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom, by Suzie Boss (2014)
Check out these important strategies for creating an inclusive learning space that challenges students with rigorous thinking and projects and supports student voice and collaboration.
- Learner Interest Matters: Strategies for Empowering Student Choice, by John McCarthy (2014)
McCarthy discusses why student interest in assignments is so important and how to give students choices and empower student voice.
- Including Student Voice, by Bill Palmer (2013)
Palmer, a science teacher and curriculum coach, continues Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL with an examination of student voice.
- Penn-Finn Learnings 2013: Does Student Voice Translate in Finnish? by Brandon Wiley (2013)
Wiley, director of Asia Society's International Studies Schools Network (ISSN), blogs from Helsinki about Finnish students' expectations for and involvement in their own education. Maria Puolakkainen, a high school student from Helsinki, Finland, was invited to share her own ideas and insights; read about her experiences in "#StuVoice Finland Shares the 'Characteristics of an Effective Teacher'."
Using Student Feedback
- 3 Ways of Getting Student Feedback to Improve Your Teaching, by Vicki Davis (2014)
Davis asks her students for professional-development help, ending the year with in-class focus groups, a survey, and a call for anonymous notes that will guide her in improving her practice next year.
- To Help Students Learn, Appeal to What They Value, by Heidi A. Olinger (2014)
Olinger, STEAM teacher and social entrepreneur, gives an insightful strategy for learning about what students value and then teaching in ways that will engage them by appealing to those values.
- Just Ask: Harnessing the Power of Student Curiosity, by Nicholas Provenzano (2013)
Provenzano suggests harnessing the power of student curiosity by asking them what they want to learn.
- Listening to Students, by Elena Aguilar (2012)
Aguilar offers teachers insightful questions to ask students and really learn what they think.
- Student Voice and the Teaching of Democracy, by Mark Phillips (2012)
Phillips offers suggestions on teaching students the process and value of representative democracy within their classroom community and valuing their input.
Student-Centered Classroom Strategies
- 5 Ways to Give Your Students More Voice and Choice, by Rebecca Alber (2014)
Alber offers up five ways to inspire more student-centered learning in your classroom.
- Designing Learning Experiences: Start With the Student and Co-Create, by Matt Levinson (2014)
Students are more likely to engage with a unit of study they've co-created. Matt Levinson suggests an eight-step example for how in the history classroom.
- Students Matter: 3 Steps for Effective Differentiated Instruction, by John McCarthy (2014)
McCarthy advocates for student-centered education via three strategies for differentiated instruction: knowing students' strengths, involving them in planning, and leveraging the strengths of fellow educators.
- Want to Take Over My Class? Be My Guest! by Vivian Maguire (2014)
With the guest journal exercise, a literary show-and-tell taps into students' passions, gives them agency, and helps develop their thinking on a variety of subjects.
- Student Passion and TEDx Talks, by Nicholas Provenzano (2014)
Culminating a year of students pursuing their passions through 20 Time, one teacher organized a TEDx event to let them share those passions with the world. For more information about TEDx youth events, check out the youth event resources on the TED website.
- Want to Amplify Student Voice? Write a Book Together, by Suzie Boss (2013)
Suzie Boss tells the story of a group of ninth graders, a topic that interested them, and the teacher who made it all happen.
- 4 Technologies to Help Students Find Their Voice in Your Classroom, by Terry Heick (2014)
Heick suggests helping students find their voice in the classroom through technology, whether a medium in which they're already comfortable or one that you believe will make them more articulate.
- Backchannel: Giving Every Student a Voice in the Blended Mobile Classroom, by Beth Holland (2014)
Holland introduces the backchannel as a tech-integration strategy for keeping students engaged in the classroom -- all students, not just the ones who are always raising their hands or speaking out.
- Middle School Students Find Their Voice With Digital Cameras, by Elena Aguilar (2011)
Aguilar describes how experiences with photography allowed her students to see their neighborhood through different lenses and find new ways to express themselves in words and images.
Students Speak Out
- Spoken Word Poetry Empowers Students to Use Authentic Voices, by Edutopia Staff (2014)
High school student Shayanna develops her talents at Youth Speaks, a nonprofit that creates a safe space for young people to explore writing and performance skills in the service of bettering their communities.
- Bullying Prevention: Students Share Dos and Don’ts, by Maurice Elias (2014)
Elias shares a recently published study of nearly fourteen thousand students who shared their opinions on bullying prevention at their schools.
- Tomorrow’s Leaders Can’t Wait to Take Action, by Suzie Boss (2013)
Boss reports from the Clinton Global Initiative University and shares the optimism and strategies of its youthful participants.
- Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement, by Heather Wolpert-Gawron (2012)
Wolpert-Gawron asked her eighth grade students what they find most engaging in the classroom.
- Five Ways to Empower Students, by Adora Svitak (2012)
Svitak, a teacher, student, and blogger, explains how teachers can give students a more empowering role in their own education.
- Student Calls for a Learning Revolution, by Nikhil Goyal (2012)
Student author, blogger and speaker Nikhil Goyal advocates for sweeping, bottom-up change in the U.S. education system.
Additional Resources on the Web
- #StuVoice on Twitter
- "Students Conduct Their Own Groundbreaking Research About Learning," by Katrina Schwartz, KQED’s MindShift (2014)
- "Elijah’s Challenge: Who Is Defining Success and How?" by Steven Farr, withGanas (2014)
- "Students Learn Best When You Do This," by Grant Wiggins, from TeachThought (2014)
- "Using Videos to Give a Voice to Kids With Autism With Teacher John Lozano," by Vicki Davis, Cool Cat Teacher (2014)
- "Fast, Frequent Feedback as a Way to Amplify Student Voice," by Samantha Lobato, Shelby Gonzalez-Parker, Chalkbeat Colorado (2014)
- "From the Mouths of Babes -- My Students Discuss Homework, by Pernille Ripp, Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension (2013)
- "Three Strategies for Encouraging and Developing Student Voice," by Dawn Imada Chan, ASCD’s The Whole Child Blog (2013)
- "Listen to the Students, Policy-Makers and Pundits," by Grant Wiggins (2013)
- Students Speak: Teachers in Lee County, FL Embrace Student Feedback to Improve Instruction (PDF), NEA Foundation (2013)
- "What Does a Great School Year Look Like? Ask the Students," by Tina Barseghian, KQED’s MindShift (2011)
- "Student Voice in Educational Reform," by Jackie Gerstein, User Generated Education (2011)
- "Supporting Student Voice and Choice Leads to Equity," by Andrew Miller, Getting Smart (2010)
- A Parent’s Perspective – Why My Son Attended His Own IEP Meetings, from National Center for Learning Disabilities
- Student Voices, from What Kids Can Do
- Student Voice website
- Youth Speaks