Engagement & Achievement Rise When Students Are Given a Voice
This article presents the wide reaching positive results of soliciting student input and incorporating their feedback into classroom activities, which extend beyond student self-efficacy. Research indicates that schools that function in a truly democratic way are more likely to have fewer disciplinary issues and meet high academic standards. This is supported by a study conducted in 2002, in which it was noted that students who are 'systematically silenced' are more likely to drop out. Teachers in an Ohio middle school conducted open-ended interviews in an effort to prevent students from simply disappearing. These teachers felt that these interviews helped them become better teachers. Some teachers noticed that they became less critical of their students, viewed their students as individuals, and were able to use them as resources of information to help them more effectively teach to their needs. These teachers believe that 'when, as teachers, we reach that place where we no longer understand the struggling student…we need to take a step back and listen.'"