50 Things Adults Can
Do With Students to Change Schools
A long list of activities for staff and
administrators for students in all grade-levels that validate, authorize, and
empower students to become partners in school improvement.
Voice: Research Supporting Meaningful Student Involvement
This brief article uses research to advocate for
student empowerment through a variety of activities to improve schools.
Involving Students in
By exploring the legally-mandated roles of local
school site councils, this article proposes that students become involved in a
variety of “higher-level” decision-making activities. It also includes a variety
of examples from across the nation.
Student Voices Count:
A Student-Led Evaluation of High Schools in Oakland
In 2003, students in Kids First Oakland's REAL HARD program
conducted their own youth voice in schools project, designing and collecting
1,000 report card surveys evaluating teaching, counseling, school safety and
facilities at three Oakland high schools. The students compiled their findings,
analyzed the results, and made concrete recommendations to improve the schools
in this exciting report that provides a comprehensive synopsis of what these
students are looking for in school change.
Students as Allies in
Improving Their Schools: Final Report
This report from What Kids Can Do details a
project where five communities across the nation meaningfully involved students
in school improvement. There are details on the collaborative process used by
student-teacher research teams, how students became involved in the project,
gathered and analyzed their data, presented their findings at public summits and
then turned them into topics for discussion and action.
The Roles of Youth in
Society: A Reconceptualization
Ruthanne Kurth-Schai provides a theoretical
framework for educators to look anew at the position of students in schools
right now, and offers a futuristic prognosis of new possibilities for student
Voice into Teaching Practice
The federal government created a program in the early 1990s
that sought to make educational research widely available online. Regular
“digests” of research were created, including this concise report on student
voice by John Kordalewski, written in 1999.
Perspectives: Toward Trust, Dialogue, and Change in Education
Byrn Mayr professor Alison Cook-Sather has conducted
extensive research on student voice, including what students are actually saying
and how educators can listen and do something with those voices. She has a
growing body of writing around the topic, but this is the most comprehensive
piece I have found of hers.
Choices for Children:
Why and How to Let Students Decide
This article by Alfie Kohn is an essential primer
for student involvement in classroom and school-wide decision-making. Kohn is
popular among educators, and writes in an approachable language that is familiar
to teachers. He provides a variety of examples, concise rationale, and addresses
the real barriers that are faced. I
Involvement Guide to Inclusive School Change
This booklet provides a brief introduction to
creating opportunities for student-inclusive school change in all grade levels.
In numerous sections this publication explores the background, benefits, and
applications of student voice in a variety of settings across the US. There are
a variety of tools for assessing local classrooms and schools, as well as a
brief resource guide.