Balancing Youth Voice

Among adults who work to support youth voice, there are a lot of questions that are wrestled with regularly.

  • How do we best prepare youth to be meaningfully involved?
  • Do we select students to become involved by our judgment, or theirs?
  • How much authority should young people have when they’re involved?
  • What happens if students think they have too much power?
  • Can this make any different to their grades?
  • Doesn’t student voice take away from learning time?
  • What happens to the students who aren’t involved?

In a great video from the UK, an East London school called the George Mitchell School is featured for their superb approaches to recognizing many of these questions, and others. I encourage everyone to watch it as soon as possible. The video identifies the successes of engaging youth voice throughout the learning environment for a lot of different reasons, and shows some of the ways young people can and should become engaged throughout our communities.

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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *