Increasing student voice in the classroom has a positive impact on social emotional learning, especially self- efficacy, and social awareness.
In education, student voice refers to the values, opinions, beliefs, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds of individual students and groups of students in a school, and to instructional approaches and techniques that are based on student choices, interests, passions, and ambitions (Education Glossary).
The term 'Student Voice' describes how students give their input regarding what happens within the school and classroom. The goal is for students to know that their expertise, opinions and ideas are valued in all aspects of school life. One of the principles guiding this work is that student achievement and engagement will increase when students have more ownership of their school community (Palmer).
An article by Dana Mitra finds that student voice activities can create meaningful experiences for youth that help to meet fundamental developmental needs, especially for students who otherwise do not find meaning in their school experiences. Specifically, this research finds a marked consistency in the growth of agency, belonging and competence, three assets that are central to youth development (Mitra).
Here are some resources to help you to think about how to use student voice in your classroom:
Here are videos about Student Voice:
Here are some articles that include specific classroom activities:
Abbott, S. (2013). Student Voice. Glossary of Educational Reform. Retrieved from http://edglossary.org/student-voice/
Mitra, Dana. (2004). Can Increasing ‘‘Student Voice’’ in Schools Lead to Gains in Youth Development? Teachers College Record Volume 106, Number 4, April 2004, pp. 651–688.
Palmer, B. (2013). Including Student Voice. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/sammamish-2-including-student-voice-bill-palmer