Meaningful Student Involvement is the process of engaging students in every facet of the educational process for the purpose of strengthening their commitment to education, community and democracy. Instead of simply listening to the often contrived collective student voice, Meaningful Student Involvement recognizes the unique knowledge, experience and perspective of each individual student.

Meaningful Student Involvement might include students as
In each of these activities in the classroom or community, students are working with adults towards better schools, relevant learning, meaningful relationships, and more.

The characteristics that make Meaningful Student Involvement different from simply student voice are simple:

  • School-wide approaches
  • High levels of student authority
  • Interrelated strategies
  • Sustainable structures of support
  • Personal commitment
  • Strong learning connections

These characteristics ensure that student voice isn’t a Trojan horse for adults. They also show that student voice should be integrated throughout the education system. This movement sends Meaningful Student Involvement toward the very top possibilities for school improvement.

Learn more about Meaningful Student Involvement from CommonAction’s outreach program called SoundOut, which focuses on integrating student voice throughout schools.


Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!