Student Voice Spectrum

Student Voice & Engagement Spectrum

It is clear that students are drawn to places where voice is encouraged and agency is granted. This infographic visually defines student voice on a sliding scale. Student voice is a broad term describing a range of activities that can occur in classrooms and school wide activities. Whereas traditional schooling seeks to change the student in some way, either through learning, shifting perspectives, or altering behaviors, student voice activities position students as the agents of change.

As you move across the figure from left to right, students’ roles, responsibilities, and decision-making authority grows. On the left side, student voice activity is limited to youth voice through communication or data; on the right, students may be directing collective actions of both peers and adults. Activities in the middle areas blend these orientations. In the graphic below, Toshalis and Nakkula explain that through student-voice-oriented activities, students can move from data sources to leaders of change.

*Adapted from Toshalis and Nakkula, Motivation, Engagement, And Student Voice, April 2012