- Schools don't often look to students for input prior to making decisions that ultimately impact them.
- College of the Sequoias CTE Grant Manager Michael Niehoff writes for eSchool News that there are, however, a number of areas in which schools can gives students a voice and look to them for ideas.
- Among those areas: providing feedback on learning experiences, granting more choice in curriculum, making student involvement in school governance more than a symbolic gesture, including students on interview panels for teachers, and asking for suggestions on school-wide needs, problems and challenges.
As more focus is placed on the importance of finding ways to provide more personalized learning experiences to all students, it's worth considering that there's perhaps no approach more personal than making students feel like a crucial part of their school. Allowing their voices to be heard, when possible, in decisions that affect them can achieve just that.
As was recently pointed out, the greatest roadblocks to learning for students are self-doubt and a lack of connection to peers and classroom materials. Letting students' voices be heard can foster a sense that their thoughts and efforts are worthwhile, and can help to build "grit" and growth mindset if administrators and other school employees work with them to flesh out and improve their ideas in a way that makes them actionable.