2020 Poster

Impact of Strengthening Student Voice and Expression on students’ academic results in STEM subjects

Gaurav Siddharth
Teach For India

The poster was presented on 27th May 2020

Student voice here refers to any expression of any student anywhere about anything relating to schools, learning or the educational experience. This study enabled students to be co-designers in learning and empowered in their own development. Teaching Mathematics to a group of 75 Grade 9 students over a period of 2 years showcased the trend – where students constantly exposed to opportunities wherein their feedback, suggestion or complaint – had an impact, led to their overall development in academics faring better than their same age peers. Students in the study were provided several opportunities for a duration of 2 years – both within and outside school. In all these events and activities, students’ opinions were welcomed, changes suggested by them implemented and classrooms were in turn driven by what students wanted. Students also designed classroom structures that were more effective at meeting the classes’ own goals for the academic year.

The different structures which made students voice and expression evident in decision making were specifically designed exit slips, reflection circles, student-led classes, student council, marathons, etc. The central idea was that the students are equal stakeholders around which the whole fabric of education is woven.

They must be empowered to make right choices for themselves and this would be possible only when they are able to express themselves. The results of the study were – Students’ performance grew from a meagre 3% of students above 1st class to more than 42% of the students above 1st class in Mathematics (Geometry).

The classroom was also adjudged as one of the top 10 finalists in the Transformational Impact Journey (TIJ) classroom by Teach For India. The students who were earlier not able to clear grade 9 scored a whopping 100% in their weekly assessments and an average of above 60%.

One reply on “Impact of Strengthening Student Voice and Expression on students’ academic results in STEM subjects”

Hi Gaurav,
Nice poster and presentation. Appreciate your efforts. Being a teacher myself for sometime, I understand the significance of student voice in class as well as how challenging it can be for a teacher to make students significant stakeholders in classroom transactions.
However a few things were not clear to me.
1. Deciding the curriculum: You talked mostly about assessments, but what about other aspects of the curriculum. I am specifically interested in knowledge construction. Did students have the autonomy to challenge canonical knowledge, and opportunity to defend their alternative theories.

2. Were there any signs of this voice being translated into a political voice, students taking certain political stances and voicing their views on issues affecting them.

Also it would be nice to have some mechanistic account of the causal connection that you are trying to establish between student voice and their achievement in STEM subjects.