Student Voice & Empathy

What is student voice? Why does it matter?

Student voice is generally defined as students having input on their educational experiences (Robinson & Taylor, 2007).

Two students side by side at a tableThis can be as broad as school site policy reform and teacher evaluation or as narrow as simply involving students as partners when planning educational experiences. When students have a role in planning educational activities, their investment, ownership, and learning greatly increase (Flutter & Rudduck, 2006; Grace, 1999).

Student voice can positively impact classrooms, teachers, schools, districts, and learners (Fletcher, 2015).

Collecting student voice

Student voice is more than just listening (Fletcher, 2015). It involves giving students real opportunities to design their own learning experiences and releasing some of the instructional control. Research shows students learn better when engaged in the educational process. But how do you collect student input in an organized fashion?

Developing empathy

Empathy is about being able to understand someone else's perspective and feelings. One of the only ways to do this is to get to know your students so that you can understand what motivates and empowers them.