Student Supports

Check out some of our amazing resources for YOU!

Learn more about student voice & agency 

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Authentic Student Voice & Agency

Authentic student voice is the deep engagement of students in directing and owning their individual learning and shaping the nature of the education experience among their peers.
Student voice is our best avenue for uncovering, discovering, and recovering the hidden strengths and challenges our students carry within themselves.

When we create real space for student voice – not just let students choose from the options adults give them – we can learn about our students' hopes and fears, 

The Cycle of Student Voice & Agency

Student voice is any expression of any learner anywhere, anytime focused on learning, schools or education. This can include, but isn’t limited to, active or passive participation, knowledge, voting, wisdom, activism, beliefs, service, opinions, leadership, and ideas. Student Voice reflects identity, and comes from a person’s experiences, ideals, and knowledge. Student voice is the individual and collective perspective and actions of young people within the context of learning and education.

The Necessity of the Student Voice

Children spend a lot of time at school. After the family, school has the most significant influence on child development, so making students’ time at school enjoyable and worthwhile supports their mental health and wellbeing. Part of this process involves supporting students to be active contributors to their own learning. The
sense of belonging, positive relationships and improved self-esteem achieved when children are active contributors in their school community are significant protective factors that support their mental health and wellbeing now and in the future.

Spectrum of Student Voice

This infographic visually defines student voice on a sliding scale. Student voice is a broad term describing a range of activities that can occur in and out of school. It can be understood as expression, performance, and creativity and as co-constructing the teaching/learning dynamic. Whereas most curricula and pedagogy seek to change the student in some way, either through the accumulation of new knowledge, the shifting of perspectives, or the alteration of behaviors, student voice activities position students as the agents of change.

Types of Student Voice

Not all Student Voice is the same. Research has been adamant about identifying where and how students differ in their attitudes, opinions, expressions, and experiences in schools. Since that’s the case, how can Student Voice be the same? There are four basic distinctions in student voice. Remember that student voice is any expression by any young person relating to any part of learning or schools, for any purpose.

Youth-Adult Relationship Spectrum

Adam Fletcher

"I have seen three primary ways adults relate to youth, no matter whether the relationship is parenting, teaching, or policing. The first way is over-permissiveness; the second is responsible; and over-restrictive. Before I explain these, its important to remind you that I’m an adult and these are my opinions; a young person and other adults surely will see things differently."

Diversity in Student Voice

Differences shape who we are and what we know. Life, history, society and power cannot be understood from a single perspective; we need multiple viewpoints to truly see the world. Because of this, inclusive classrooms must function as learning communities built on shared inquiry and dialogue.

Dialogue is more than conversation. It is also different than debate, in which someone wins and someone loses. Dialogue requires openness to new ideas and collective learning.

Why is Student Voice Important in Education?

While listening to student voice is important, research shows that the benefits for students don't come from just hearing their own voices; it's more about how other people (students, teachers, schools) respond tostudents' voices and work with them to make ideas come to life.

Connect to some of the national & local resources

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Student Voice

Unleashing student voices to revolutionize education:

Student Voice provides students with the platform to change their schools and communities. We meet students where they are and identify student-centric solutions that address the systemic inequity in the American education system.

Advocates for Youth

Young people are leading the movement toward just and safe communities for all.

Advocates for Youth partners with youth leaders, adult allies, and youth-serving organizations to advocate for policies and champion programs that recognize young people’s rights to honest sexual health information; accessible, confidential, and affordable sexual health services; and the resources and opportunities necessary to create sexual health equity for all youth.

Sound Out

SoundOut’s clients and collaborators partner with us to facilitate new programs, special activities, faculty retreats, student conferences, and school assemblies. We also work with district, regional and state education agencies, as well as local, state and national nonprofit education organizations.

​Using our research-driven and experience-proven approaches, we teach individuals and small groups about student voice, student engagement, Meaningful Student Involvement and more.

Student Voice Hub

We improve lives.

Every day, San Diego Youth Services works to fight the tragedies of youth homelessness and youth in crisis across our county. We strive to end homelessness, prevent delinquency and school failure, break the cycle of child abuse and neglect, and promote mental health and addiction recovery. Our work embraces all youth, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion or sexual orientation. San Diego Youth Services is a safe zone for LGBTQ youth.

Get involved, take action, and make a difference in your school!

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Youth Advocacy Toolkit

An Advocacy Toolkit: The Education We Want
This advocacy toolkit, produced in partnership with A World at School and the Youth Advocacy Group of the Global Education First Initiative, has been developed for young people, by young people.
Packed full of ideas, tools and inspiring stories, the resource helps children and youth to effectively advocate for their right to an education.

With 65 million girls out of school and a global funding gap of $26 billion for basic education, there is a lot of work to be done.

The Power of Advocacy

In 2000, the leaders of the world promised to get all children in the world into school by 2015. But today, 58 million children are still missing out on the opportunity to go to school. All around the world young people have got together to demand that world leaders deliver on their promise of universal education.

To help make change happen through the power of advocacy, Plan worked with young people and partner organisations to develop an advocacy toolkit which provided everything youth need to join the millions of young leaders around the world to advocate for change.