Student Voice is a powerful tool to increase student engagement. We see the benefits when students are engaged: they “demonstrate internal motivation, self efficacy, and a desire for mastery” (Guthrie qtd in Davis). This is key to personalized learning and the Future Ready framework.
Allowing for Student Voice is scary for both student and teacher. We begin constructing a “journey of us.” This co-constructing of knowledge isn’t easy or comfortable. It might mean sometimes saying “I don’t know” (Alber). Better yet, it could lead to us saying, “let’s find out together.”
- Develop norms together.
- Brainstorm or pre-assess student knowledge and interest: pose questions, use surveys.
- Create inquiry teams to explore the class’s interests and needs: jigsaw topics and share results.
- Listen: students will be more invested if they know you care.
- Model thinking: read, discuss, pause, question, make connections in front of your students and with your students.
- Provide project options: when student choose, they are more engaged in the outcome.
- Practice reflection and feedback: coach questioning strategies, establish class protocols, provide opportunities for reflection and feedback.
What tools are available to facilitate this?
- Padlet: pose questions with real-time answers, vote on responses, brainstorm together, KWL
- Today’s Meet: create a question and see the live responses, a backchannel during presentations, videos, discussions, lectures
- Flipgrid: video responses to questions or scenarios, formal or informal feedback, respond to each other
- Sketchnotes: visual note-taking and journaling
- Blogs: journaling, reflection, evaluation; Weebly and EduBlogs do provide private classroom options
- Surveys: Google Forms, Microsoft Forms
- Socratic Seminars, Spiderweb Discussions, Fishbowl
This isn’t an easy part of the journey. It’s messy and can be unpredictable, but the results are worth it!
- Rebecca Alber, 5 Ways to Give Your Students More Voice and Choice
- Millie Davis, What a Day to Celebrate Student Voice and Choice
- Adam Fletcher, Intro to Student Voice
- John McCarthy, Establishing a Culture of Student Voice
- Bill Palmer, Including Student Voice
- Jennifer Smelling, 8 Ways to Empower Student Voice in Your Classroom Student Voice