Student and Youth Voice: Asking, Listening, and Taking Action



DIRECTORY with links to WKCD student voice tools, projects, books, media, and stories

Discussion Starters/Surveys



The most extensive online resource designed to promote meaningful student involvement in school change.

Mikva Challenge

Mikva Challenge pushes students to actively engage in democratic activities inside and outside the classroom, believing that our schools, neighborhoods and city can be transformed by the insight and expertise of these young civic leaders. Though it's based in Chicago, and the Chicago Public Schools are its main focus, Mikva is a national model of how to support students as researchers and activists.

Youth on Board

Using a collaborative approach that emphasizes strong relationships as the basis of meaningful change, Youth on Board designs and runs programs, supports youth-led organizing, develops curricula, provides trainings, and publishes resources that help support youth voice at every level in decision making.

Right Question Institute

Even if we know in the abstract that students can be more successful learners if they know how to ask questions, the skill is far too rarely deliberately taught in school. RQI's "Question Formulation Technique" is the outcome of twenty years of work in developing and, most importantly, simplifying a straightforward, rigorous process that helps all students learn how to: produce their own questions, improve their questions, and strategize on how to use the questions.

Students at the Center

A joint project of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and Jobs for the Future, Students at the Center synthesizes existing research on key components of student-centered approaches to learning. The nine papers that launch this project renew attention to the importance of engaging each student in acquiring the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed for success in college and a career. Three papers in this series are of particular note: Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice by Eric Toshalis and Michael Nakkukla; Teachers at Work: Six Exemplars of Everyday Practice by Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman; and Personalization in Schools by Susan Yonezawa, Larry McClur, and Makeba Jones.

Gardener Center for Youth and Communities

The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities (JGC) at Stanford University partners with communities to develop leadership, conduct research and effect change to improve the lives of youth. Youth voice and youth-led research are integral to JGC's work.

Student Voice Collaborative

The Student Voice Collaborative brings together students from one of the District's "Children First Networks" to gather the voices of classmates and affect the changes they wish to see in their schools. While still young in its development, the SVC promises to be an energetic resource for schools and districts nationwide that want to nurture student voice in school improvement.

Shout Outs



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“There’s a radical—and wonderful—new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world.”

– Deborah Meier, educator