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Short-Term Impacts of Student Listening Circles on Student Perceptions of School Climate and of Their Own Competencies

By Thomas Hanson, Jeff Polik, Rebeca Cerna


A student listening circle engages and supports students to share their experiences and ideas on important school topics with adults. The circles are designed to enable students to collaborate in planning and implementing school improvement practices.

This study, produced by REL West, examines whether participation in student listening circles increases students’ connectedness to school, the quality of their relationships with school staff, and perceptions of school climate and their own personal competencies.

Key Findings

  • Participation in student listening circles had no impact on student participants’ perceptions of either school climate or their own competencies
  • There was little change in students’ perceptions, while staff participants perceived improvements in student competencies and had more trust in students and belief in their abilities

The study did not examine the impacts of student listening circles on adult participants, school governance, and the overall school climate in participating schools.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2017
Format: PDF
Pages: 59
Publisher: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences