Part 4: Student Voice Dos and Don’ts


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 is the last of this series, and covers how to sustain student voice. For the complete article email info@soundout.org and ask.

SUSTAINING STUDENT
VOICE
To sustain student
voice beyond the activity, DON’T…
£  Treat
students favorably for sharing student voice in an approved way.
£  Punish
students when student voice doesn’t meet adult expectations.
£  Invite
students to share their knowledge, ideas, opinions, and more, and then not use
what they say.
£  Neglect
to recognize student learning from sharing student voice with class credit.
£  Deny
the absence of student voice outlets in local schools if adults or students
raise the issue.
£  Acknowledge
the validity of student voices that adults disagree with.
£  Ask
students to share student voice that never leaves the classroom or education-focused
program they’re in. Interpret and reinterpret student voice into language,
acronyms, purposes, and outcomes that adults use.
To sustain student
voice beyond the activity, DO…
£  Encourage
mutual accountability between students and adults.
£  Engage
student voice in as many topics as possible, and don’t ignore it regarding others.
£  Create
ongoing opportunities to listen to student voice and engage students as
partners.
£  Encourage
building-level and classroom-level student voice activities.
£  Encourage
different students to participate across education activities.
£  Create
“safe spaces” where students can share student voice in the long-term  after the event.
£  Engage
adults and students as full partners in taking action on student voice.
£  Share
SoundOut.org as a resource on student voice including examples, tools, links,
and more.
These Student Voice Dos and Donts were designed to help you plan, prepare, facilitate, and sustain student voice. For more information about student voice in schools, visit www.SoundOut.org.

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