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Speak Out, Listen Up! Listening to Student Voice

Date: December 4, 2014
Location: Webinar

Listening closely to what students say about their school experiences can be beneficial to educators for understanding and addressing school-related topics and problems and rethinking policies and practices.

REL West recently published a toolkit to provide educators with a purposeful and systematic way to elicit and listen to student voice to inform school improvement efforts. The toolkit offers three tools.

  • ASK (Analyzing Surveys with Kids) involves students in analyzing and interpreting survey results associated with a school-related topic or problem and then producing suggestions for school improvement.
  • Inside-Outside Fishbowl organizes a special kind of focus group in which students and educators trade roles as speakers and listeners during a facilitated discussion of a school-related topic or problem, and jointly develop an action plan.
  • S4 (Students Studying Students’ Stories) guides a digital storytelling process in which students produce and analyze videotaped interviews of other students about a school-related topic or problem and then host forums with educators to suggest improvements.

The webinar provided an opportunity for educators to:

  • Understand the concept of student voice and the benefits of including student input in school improvement efforts;
  • Learn about three tools that have been found effective in eliciting student ideas; and
  • Hear from educators and students who have used the tools about how the process has impacted school improvement efforts in the Washoe County (NV) School District and elsewhere.


  • BethAnn Berliner, Senior Research Associate, REL West at WestEd
  • Noelle Caskey, Senior Research Associate, REL West at WestEd
  • Jennifer Harris, High School Graduation Initiative Program Evaluator, Washoe County (NV) School District

For more information, please contact BethAnn Berliner,


December 4, 2014



Contact Information

BethAnn Berliner

School Climate (Supporting the Whole Child)


  • BethAnn Berliner, REL West at WestEd
  • Noelle Caskey, REL West at WestEd
  • Jennifer Harris, Washoe County (NV) School District
Listening to Student Voice

BethAnn Berliner, Noelle Caskey, Jennifer Harris