Student Voice Foundation

Centering Student Voice

The CPS Equity Framework calls us to center student voices in order to achieve equity. The CPS Student Voice 360 guidance is designed with this in mind: student voice is at the heart of Inclusive Partnerships, Liberatory Thinking requires us to face and address adultism and biases while sharing power with youth, and in order to achieve Fair Policies and Systems student voices and perspectives must be at the table.

While there are many ways to cultivate a school culture that values students as collaborative community members and decision-makers, first and foremost we begin with listening to students' perspectives, values, and beliefs. It is through listening that we develop trusting and respectful relationships upon which a strong student voice infrastructure can be built.

CONNECTION The base of this triangle is critical to youth participation. In Hart’s Ladder, “Listen” is introduced at the fourth rung, where students are assigned advisory roles in decision making. The questions above can help your school community understand where you need to build or continue developing relationships to lay the foundation for student voice.