Student Voice in Child-Friendly Schools

Several years ago UNICEF took off on a journey to create child-friendly schools around the world. Their efforts included creating a comprehensive manual and conducting evaluations of so-named environments around the world. However, in their analysis of what created a child-friendly school, UNICEF has routinely neglected to name student voice as an essential component.

For those of you familiar with my work, you’ll know that I would take that engagement of student voice further down the line and propose that to be truly committed to child-friendly schools would be to practice Meaningful Student Involvement throughout the education system. I have called out the child-friendly environments movement before for this type of neglect, and this is an extension of my concern.

UNICEF can take it’s role further, as it must, by thoroughly considering Meaningful Student Involvement. Our world needs nothing less.
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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