When students feel valued, they are more engaged in their learning, classrooms, and communities. "Student voice" refers to the ability for students to share their opinions, values and experiences to become active, respected participants in their learning experiences, school culture, and communities at large. School cultures that embrace authentic student voice experience improved educational outcomes, increased equity, and stronger community support.
Research shows that when students feel engaged in school through choice, control, and collaboration, they do better academically. When schools incorporate students in decision making, students participate more in class and have decreased behavior problems, and are better equipped for self-reflection and preparation for improvement.
Districts are giving students more say in decisions ranging from curriculum, to discipline, and more. Some districts even have students as members of their local school boards, assisting in decision making at the highest levels – decisions that impact their day to day experiences at school.
Schools, educators, and students can use this checklist from Youth on Board as a guide to help give direction, uncover hidden issues, and guide commitment to student voice initiatives.
Reaching Higher NH has been exploring student voice and students' impact on their learning and school culture. Check out our latest projects, from a series of videos where students explain how they're getting Ready in the 603, to a web story on the journey of three Souhegan High School students, to a web story on a statewide conference on student voice.
A series of short videos explore initiatives in our public schools that are getting NH high schoolers ready for the next step after high school. These opportunities are taking the dreams of NH students, regardless of their backgrounds, learning styles or achievement levels, and making them a reality. As we’re sure you’ll see, that students in the 603, are definitely READY!
This web story follows three Souhegan High School Students as they navigate their Senior project journey, showing that it's possible to cultivate a culture of rigorous learning and growth in any school for any student.
When student voices are valued and mindsets are open, students have access to the futures they want!
What do YOU think?
Do you think students should have a voice in decision making at school? Are you or someone you know involved in any student voice initiatives at your school? Let us know!