Elevating Student Voice, Agency, and Co-Creation
By Equity Accelerator
According to California Healthy Kids Survey school climate data, fewer than one third of California secondary students report feeling that they have opportunities for meaningful participation at school, including having a say in how things work and helping decide school activities or rules. When adults miss out on hearing directly from students—especially students of color—it can deepen racial inequities in school systems.
Making opportunities available to these students for leadership and for co-creating school systems can be a key component of efforts to achieve racial equity in education. This brief produced by the Equity Accelerator initiative suggests that successfully transforming education systems to be more student centered involves addressing four key elements:
- Individual Mindsets
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Community Culture
- Structural and Systemic Supports
In addition to offering ideas for effectively implementing student voice initiatives generally, this brief specifically includes ideas for advancing racial equity and elevating the perspectives of the students whom the Equity Accelerator aimed to better serve through its efforts.
About the Equity Accelerator Project
Funded by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation as part of the COVID Education Equity Response Collaborative, the Equity Accelerator project provided statewide professional learning sessions in California and a fellowship program for staff from select county offices of education (COEs) from January through November 2021. The project supported California’s COEs to improve how their whole-child and whole-school efforts align with each other and cohere with a vision of cultivating fundamental and sustainable change toward more equitable education systems.
In this archived professional learning session, two student leaders and experts in youth engagement, leadership, and equity present strategies for engaging often-overlooked stakeholders in education decision-making and helped California county offices of education participants explore new ways to move from "doing to" or “doing for” stakeholders to "doing with" them.
Integrating Social and Emotional Learning throughout the School System: A Compendium of Resources for District Leaders
This compendium provides resources for district leaders to consider as they seek to implement evidence-based supports to ensure social and emotional learning (SEL) is fully integrated into educational experiences.
In this archived session hosted by the COVID Education Equity Response Collaborative’s Equity Accelerator, Equity Accelerator Fellows reflect on their year-long experience working to achieve greater racial equity in their education systems.
- Safe and Supportive Learning EnvironmentsWestEd's Safe and Supportive Learning Environments (SSLE) services support your school, district, or state to develop the knowledge and build the capacity needed to foster equitable learning conditions during everyday instruction and throughout school communities.
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