April 22, 2021
Research demonstrates the importance of students having a say in what and how they’re learning for the most successful educational outcomes. But building the bridge between their opinions and impactful activities might require you to learn a new skill. Turn to Y4Y’s new course on student voice and choice for a quick study of this 21st CCLC best practice.
Where to Begin
Gathering student voice can be done on an individual or group basis. Each has its merits. Individual input offers students the comfort of anonymity, where a group approach fosters the kind of collaboration and idea sharing that can yield richer and more developed outcomes. Use these Y4Y tools to help you get everyone’s perspectives:
- Activity Choice Form gets you started with independent input on choice.
- Student Survey – How Do I Learn Best? solicits independent input on format.
- Socratic Seminar Student Assessment helps to lay the groundwork for group work.
- Concentric Circles Discussion Format provides a structure for group decision making.
Making it Happen
- You can get your students imagining an active, confident role in your 21st CCLC activities by reflecting on their own learning and setting new goals. Check out age-appropriate Y4Y tools for grades K-1, grades 2-3, grades 4-6, middle school and high school.
- Step-by-step facilitator reminders are available in the Student Voice and Choice Observation Checklist and Tracker.
- The Student Voice and Choice Implementation Checklist will help you tie student voice to student choice.
Those All-Important Facilitator Skills
You can hone your staff’s role with the Using Facilitation Practices That Incorporate Student Voice and Choice Training to Go.
With the above tools and more at your disposal, staff can effectively build their skills to facilitate student-driven activities and keep these important principles at the forefront:
- A “guide on the side” approach means students take center stage in their own learning. You’re there to provide guidance and support.
- Adopting effective questioning techniques, and using words like “why” and “how,” leads to richer learning.
- Brainstorming is your best friend.
The message you convey by tying student voice and choice to all you do is loud and clear: We hear you, we honor you and we believe in you.