Back to School: Students Planning Classes

After studying student-led planning for several years, professor Marsha Grace wrote an article for theASCD magazine. The article included these important lessons:

  • Garner support and start small. Teachers who use their students as curricular informants must have the support of administrators and parents.
  • Give up the guides and get ready to model. Teachers must be willing to teach without the aid– and the restriction– of curriculum guides, and be ready to meet mandates through creativity and responsiveness.
  • Develop assessment tools. Assessments must be accomplished through students’ performances, demonstrations, experiences, explanations, writing, portfolios, and self-evaluations.
  • Be a learner. This kind of curriculum requires everyone in the classroom to be a learner. Be willing to learn about subjects that interest the students.
  • Gather data weekly. No more than once a week, thoroughly document what is working and what could be improved. Let [students] explain what worked or didn’t work for them.

Want more info about engaging students as education planners? Check out the SoundOut Students as Education Planners resource page.

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

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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