The Biggest Problem in Schools Today

The biggest problem in schools today is actually one that’s vexed adults in education for almost all times. The problem is the reality that children and youth—students, the actual reason why schools exist—don’t do exactly what adults want them to, when they want them to, where they want them to, how they want them to. Continue reading “The Biggest Problem in Schools Today”

Core Beliefs Behind SoundOut

Founded more than a decade ago, the core beliefs behind my work with SoundOut are not unique. Rather, they were identified through workshops with 100s of students and teachers, and by conducting research into the history of education. They may be best summarized by researcher Alison Cook-Sather of Byrn-Mawr College in Pennsylvania, who wrote that,Continue reading “Core Beliefs Behind SoundOut”

An Intro to the Student Voice Movement

Around the world right now, there is a lot happening in education. There are struggles over accountability, challenges over funding, attempts to improve equity, fights against racial discrimination, and much more. However, when the question of student voice enters the picture, education advocate Michael Fullan may have said it best: “When adults think of students,Continue reading “An Intro to the Student Voice Movement”

Cascading Leadership For Students

Here’s my latest article! I explore the intersection between student engagement, student leadership, and student voice. You can download the entire article at Cascading Leadership Among Students from CommonAction Consulting. And please, let me know what you think by commenting below!

Impacts of Meaningful Student Involvement

When considering infusing Meaningful Student Involvement into school change, many educators want to know what exactly is going to happen. The following chart shows the major areas that MSI impacts. Send me an email if you’d like to see the research supporting each of these outcomes. Type of Action Major Areas that Meaningful Student InvolvementContinue reading “Impacts of Meaningful Student Involvement”

NEW Student Voice Evaluation!

Download the 2013 Meaningful Student Involvement Deep Assessment from SoundOut. I am making it FREE on my website, so check out for the goods! Look for The Guide to Student Voice, available NOW exclusively on!

Critical Questions for Meaningful Student Involvement

Working with groups across the US and Canada to improve schools over the last decade, I’ve learned a few important points for everyone to consider before giving it a try. Here are 18 critical questions for Meaningful Student Involvement. Are your expectations for Meaningful Student Involvement reasonable and positive?  What do you first think ofContinue reading “Critical Questions for Meaningful Student Involvement”

Tips on How to Survey Real People

Recently, I needed to learn some basic things from a group of people at the outset of a weekend-long training. Specifically, I wanted to find out: How capable they were at self-identifying the problems they faced;  How able they were at identifying root causes;  Whether they could determine what practical resources they needed. To findContinue reading “Tips on How to Survey Real People”

Issues Addressed by Student Voice

Planning the winter dance, setting the price for Valentine’s Day candies, and deciding the new school colors are decisions some schools allow student voice to influence or even drive. However, Meaningful Student Involvement amplifies student voice much further than this. There are literally countless issues throughout the education system where engaging students as partners canContinue reading “Issues Addressed by Student Voice”

18 Myths of Education

Here are 18 myths of education in the United States. The resolve to number 12 is the essence of our work through SoundOut all these years. What else have you seen meeting these myths? These are important points, and you can find the citations for each one at the bottom of the graphic. Leave your thoughtsContinue reading “18 Myths of Education”