Principles of Student Voice in Schools
Respect is mutual: You give it, you receive
A culture of respect shatters stereotypes based on
Students respect teachers who listen and ask
A culture of respect provides all
people the opportunity to act on their dreams and learn from their
Listen up: An honest and open exchange of
ideas is crucial.
Students are best heard when teachers step back and
students speak up.
Teachers are best heard when they are straight up and
explain where they’re coming from.
All people's ideas and opinions are valuable and must
It takes time: Investing in the future is
accepting that students are leaders today.
Students and teachers must first set their fears
aside and take a chance on each other.
Teachers must provide students with the information,
education and support they will need to succeed. They must also
develop their own ability to engage students.
Strong partnerships require patience and courage.
Count us in: Decisions about students should
be made with students.
Teachers need to support students in taking on
responsibility based on what they can do, not what they have done.
Reflection helps everyone appreciate the importance
of their education - for themselves, for their communities and for
Students and teachers must hold each other
accountable for all their decisions and actions.
Students and teachers should continually challenge
the impact of schools in their lives.
When Student Voice is supported, Student-Teacher
partnerships can be successfully created. Students must be empowered
to change schools if education is going to change. These Principals
for Student-Teacher Partnerships offer those guidelines.
Originally created by the Youth Voice Project at UNC - Chapel Hill.
In 1996 the Youth Voice Project gathered 500 youth from around the US
and developed these Principles.
Adapted from Youth Voice Begins With YOU
by K. Markendorf and N. Straw (1996), Vancouver, wA: Project Service
for Student-Adult Partnerships