Part 2: Student Voice Dos and Donts

The DOs and DON’Ts of Student Voice

Working with more than 500 student and adult participants in SoundOut Student Voice Workshops over the last year, I have compiled the following list of dos and don’ts for sharing student voice in education activities. The complete list includes planning activities, preparing students, actually facilitating activities, and sustaining student voice afterwards. Today’s post covers how to prepare students for student voice activities. For the complete article email info@soundout.org and ask.


PREPARING STUDENTS

To prepare students to
share student voice, DON’T…
£  Talk
down to students. Teach them education jargon, theory, and strategies as
needed.
£  Single
out one student for their race, socio-economic class, sexual orientation,
academic performance, etc.
£  Underemphasize
the democratic purpose of student voice.
£  Neglect
to explain to students why they’re involved in an activity.
£  Make
students less than adults; students should have opportunities with adults in activities.
£  Forget
to give students plenty of opportunity to formulate their own opinions before
speaking.
To prepare students to
share student voice, DO…
£  Teach
students about the education system they participate in.
£  Help
students learn about the broad issues in education affecting them.
£  Encourage
and facilitate students talking with each other before they share their student
voice with adults.
£  Invite
students to assert themselves as they see
fit
, including sharing real experiences and saying what works.
£  Let
students know their participation is crucial to the success of schools.
£  Encourage
and facilitate active adult interaction with the students at events.

For more information about student voice in schools, visit www.SoundOut.org.

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