To facilitate student voice in education activities, DON’T…
£ Give the impression that student voice only happens at your event.
£ Don’t isolate students from adults, either in small groups or overall, without thorough consideration.
£ Ask students to address topics they could know nothing about without preparation.
£ Call on one particular student to share repeatedly.
£ Instruct students to make generalizations about other students.
£ Only invite 10 students to join 1,000 adults at an education event; aim for equal numbers.
£ Limit students to talk only about topics adults associate them with instead of broad education issues.
£ Put students in traditional adult positions without the authority, ability, or knowledge adults usually receive.
£ Neglect to tell all people present—adults and students—the purpose of student voice and their involvement.
£ Undermine student voice by letting adults and students think that students are being tokenized.
£ Treat student voice as unique, infallible, or otherwise put on a pedestal by adults.
To facilitate student voice in education activities, DO…
£ Tell and engage students in multiple roles beyond being informants for adults.
£ See and treat student voice as integral to school improvement.
£ Share with students and adults that students only represent themselves and their own experiences.
£ Acknowledge students the same way adults are acknowledged for attending.
£ Simply listen to the words and ways students talk about issues, and ask for clarification when needed.
£ Listen to student voice in obvious ways (speaking, writing) and not other ways (art, Internet).
£ Give students the explicit right and opportunities to raise issues and to fully participate in activities.
£ Treat listening to student voice as a culture to foster, not a checkbox to complete.
£ Allow students to talk on a school’s social media sites and at in-person education activities.
£ See and treat students as full partners in the education system.
£ Engage students in issues at the local building level, not in district, state, or federal activities.