Students have the greatest stake in their education but often little to no say in how it is delivered.
This lack of agency represents a lost opportunity to accelerate learning and prepare students for a world in which taking initiative and learning new skills are increasingly paramount to success-that’s where “student voice” comes in.
The authors of Elevating Student Voice in Education from the Center for American Progress define “student voice” as student input in their education ranging from input into the instructional topics, the way students learn, the way schools are designed, and more.
This report provides an overview of eight approaches that teachers, school leaders, and district and state policymakers can use to incorporate student voice:
- Student surveys
- Student perspectives on governing bodies such as school, local, state decision-makers
- Student government
- Student journalism
- Student-led conferences
- Democratic classroom practices
- Personalized learning
- Youth participatory action research (YPAR)
Schools should empower students to influence instruction, school climate, and education policies. Teachers, school administrators, and policymakers can adopt practices or structures that allow students to share their perspectives-and make their voices heard. The report concludes with policy recommendations at the state, district, and school levels.