Analyzing the Logic Behind Youth Voice

I’ve been concerned lately about why people are trying to do the youth voice activities they do. Too often their activities actually work against their stated intentions, actually defeating their goals and objectives. I have seen pattern emerge again and again in the programs I have learned about, either through my consulting, training, or research.

Following is a form I’ve developed I have developed to assess the logic behind youth voice programs. You are invited to use it – please cite me when you do.

Analyzing the Logic Behind Youth Voice
by Adam Fletcher – copyright 2008.

The Logic of [name of activity]
  1. The main purpose of this youth voice activity is… State as accurately as possible the planner’s purpose for the activity
  2. The key issue addressed by the program is… Figure out the key issue in the mind of the planner when s/he developed the activity
  3. The most important parts of this activity are… Figure out the experiences, information, and skills the planner is assuming participants have in order to participate in the activity
  4. The main outcomes of this activity are… Identify the main outcomes the planner intends from the different parts and the whole of this activity
  5. The main assumption(s) behind the planner’s thinking is/are… Figure out what the planner is taking for granted that might be questioned.
  6. The implications of this activity are… What consequences are likely to happen because of the activity?

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

Learning about Education: Basics for Students

As I completed the SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum I compiled a list of basic knowledge about the education system students need to have in order to be effective school change agents. This is based on my experience working with hundreds of students in schools across the U.S., as well as consulting with teachers from a wide range of schools who are doing this work everyday.

An Overview of Public Schools

  • Intro to the School System
  • Reflecting on Your Education

Student Voice 101

  • Student Rights
  • Intro to Meaningful Student Involvement
  • Advocating for Students

Student/Adult Partnerships

  • Working with Adults Allies
  • Adults as Roadblocks
  • Action Research for School Change and Student Evaluations of School

Learning about Learning

  • Which 3 Rs today: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic or Relevance, Rigor and Relationships?
  • Understanding Basic Curriculum
  • Assessing School Performance

Learning Outside of School

  • Project-based learning, service learning and more
  • When Homework Matters
  • Out-of-School Learning
  • Homeschooling, Unschooling and Taking Control of Your Learning
  • Summertime Doesn’t Suck

The Politics of Schools

  • What Lies Behind, Underneath and Within Education and Reform
  • Standardized Learning and Testing
  • What Happens After the Test?
  • The Future of Schools

Let me know what you think, what’s missing, and what I should take out. Thanks!

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