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.

  1. Are your expectations for Meaningful Student Involvement reasonable and positive? 
  2. What do you first think of when you think about Meaningful Student Involvement in your education setting? 
  3. Are you excited about the possibilities? 
  4. Are you considering the benefits and value of Meaningful Student Involvement? 
  5. What kind of students do you want to engage? 
  6. Have you selected students who are just like you, or different? 
  7. Do the students you’re listening to say things that make you uncomfortable? 
  8. Is Meaningful Student Involvement integrated into your school improvement plan? 
  9. Can you listen seriously to what students have to say even though they may not express their ideas in similar ways as you? 
  10. Have you clearly let students know your expectations for Meaningful Student Involvement? 
  11. Have you done your best to provide students with the resources they need to reach the set goals? 
  12. Have you picked a time when students are available to join in? 
  13. What kind of time commitment are you expecting? 
  14. Will students be able to fit activities in with other commitments? 
  15. Have you provided teachers with enough information to give students credit for learning while sharing Student Voice? 
  16. How will you reflect on Meaningful Student Involvement with students? 
  17. What will happen to the information, resources, activities, or tools that emerged from Meaningful Student Involvement? 
  18. How will Meaningful Student Involvement sustained after the initial activity? 

Once you’ve answered these questions honestly, you are ready to begin action planning for Meaningful Student Involvement.

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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