Student Voice in Europe, Pt 1

In the late 1990s the Swedish education agency invited all new high school students across the country to be part of a process that identified new educational priorities and develop new school policies for their nation. More than 200 students said they wanted to do it.

Students were asked to send letters that explained what they thought the priorities of schools should be. Researchers and education officials read the letters and analyzed them for the main themes that arose. Each year for the next three years students were asked to write a letter that focused on those issues. At the end of the the four-year cycle in 2000, the responses were compiled into a report which is has been continuously used to inform school policy.

It continuously blows me away how far removed European practices are from those here in the States. And this is not to put anyone on a mantle: YoMo, DK, and the ESSA would probably all admit the UK is just coming along now. But in the long run the practices that have been instituted in policy and practice there are by and far a long run ahead of where we are.

I want to keep this short and recommend three publications for anyone who wants to learn more about student voice in Europe:

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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