by Jerusha Conner, Rachel Ebby-Rosin & Amanda S. BrownThe introduction to the volume offers a definition of student voice, a discussion of the philosophical and theoretical warrants for it, a brief summary of the history of the student voice movement in the United States, and a synopsis of extant research on the topic. It also describes the rationale for the volume, reviews the volume’s structure, and previews its 13 chapters.
by Mary YeeThis study constitutes the secondary analysis of data collected as part of classroom instruction in a prior practitioner inquiry study. Consequently, IRB approval, parental consent, and participant assent for the present study were obtained after the conclusion of the original study.
by Susan YonezawaCommon Core proponents and detractors debate its merits, but students have voiced their opinion for years. Using a decade’s worth of data gathered through design-research on youth voice, this article discusses what high school students have long described as more ideal learning environments for themselves—and how remarkably similar the Common Core ideals are to what kids say they want and need to learn best.
by Maceo BradleyThis chapter tells the story of how and why one student who received a ticket for being late to school joined the fight against policies that criminalize students in Los Angeles Unified School District.
by Gretchen Brion-MeiselsDrawing on data from two qualitative studies, this chapter argues that both school organizations and individual students will benefit from centering youth voices in student support systems. To do this, the author shares data from adolescents’ narratives that demonstrate how young people’s voices might (re)shape the central practices of school-based support processes.
by Kristen M. PozzoboniThis chapter highlights the voices and experiences of young people in a rural part of the United States as they examine youth engagement in academic and community life and generate recommendations for policies and practices to prevent youth from becoming disconnected.
by Adam York & Ben KirshnerThis chapter shows how student positioning by adults shapes opportunities for students to learn collective systemic agency including practices such as organizing others, developing a systemic analysis, and taking action in complex institutions, such as schools. We argue that these learning opportunities are expanded when education professionals look beyond curricular experiences and attend to how students are positioned through discourse in the broader context of the school.
by Ari SussmanThis chapter recounts the first 3 years of the Student Voice Collaborative (SVC) in New York City, a district supported student leadership initiative that engages high school aged youth in school reform work at school and district levels. Based on his experiences developing and running the SVC, the author identifies nine design and implementation principles that have made the group effective in supporting students so their voices can be heard by school leaders.
by Vanessa Jones, Carmine Stewart, Anne Galletta & Jennifer AyalaThe chapter examines youth participation within three intergenerational collectives using participatory action research (PAR) to address educational policies youth viewed as counterproductive to their education. Outlining the complexity of youth voice, the multiple vehicles within the arts through which youth voice is expressed, and the different ways in which youth voice is received by educators and policy makers, the chapter underscores the promise of youth involvement in developing, assessing, and fundamentally altering educational policy.
by Tom Dolan, Brian D. Christens & Cynthia LinCommunity organizing efforts employ different types of research as they seek to address community issues. This chapter details the evolving use of research in a youth organizing effort in San Bernardino, CA that has addressed issues in schools, the educational system, and the broader community. We examine the youth organizers’ use of organizing research and youth participatory action research (YPAR) and the contributions of each form of research to the organizing effort.
by Shamika Parkham & Aravis McBroomIn this chapter, two student members of the Student Voice Collaborative (SVC) describe their experiences as “Student Shadows” during the annual Quality Review process, used throughout the New York Department of Education to evaluate how well schools are organized to support student achievement. They chronicle how this experience enhanced their understanding of student voice, helped inspire meaningful changes to the rubric used by Quality Reviewers, and introduced a new model for school assessment that centers on students and educators as partners.
by Melanie Bertrand & Arlene J. FordThis chapter explores the influence of a youth participatory action research group, viewing the group’s efforts as challenges to racial inequality in education. The authors examine how individuals in positions of relative power—teachers, school administrators, and public officials—responded to the group’s advocacy efforts.
by Jerusha Osberg Conner & Sonia M. RosenThis chapter explores how youth organizers have injected themselves into education policy conversations in Philadelphia, asserting their agency and using their voices to shape how policymakers view them as well as the problems that confront them.
by Jane Wholey & Betty BurkesKids Rethink New Orleans Schools is an organization of primarily middle school youth that formed after Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the city’s schools. This chapter describes Rethink’s first six years of operation, which culminated in school system policy changes and an HBO documentary about the organization’s groundbreaking work.
by Dana L. MitraThis concluding chapter examines how this book on student voice intersects with previous research about policy, especially policy implementation and sustainability. Mapping onto the themes of this volume, Discovering, Developing, and Demonstrating the power of student voice, I focus on three issues—legitimizing the role of young people in the policy and reform process; preparing adults to work with young people; and sustaining ongoing student voice work.