New collections: what do students really want to talk about?

By Desirée Stanley

What students need

In a traditional school setting, most decisions about a student’s day are shaped by adults. Teachers, staff, administrators, and parents are in charge of much of what students experience.

We know that students are experts on their own needs. In recent years, a movement to take student voices seriously has gained momentum, powered by research that shows that when students have a role in key decisions about how they learn, they’re more engaged and more successful. And, our partners at Search Institute have shown that sharing power is a key element of building developmental relationships that help young people thrive.

So, we’re excited to announce that Along is launching two new collections of reflection questions that we created with students.

Inclusive design

To create these collections, we drew inspiration from the Teach for America Reinvention Collective’s innovative Youth-Adult Co-Creation Framework to put high school students in the driver’s seat. We asked: what do you wish your teachers would ask you?

We learned that students want to get to know their teachers as people and connect over thought-provoking conversation starters. And, we learned that students don’t want to shy away from meaningful discussion about their growth, learning, and futures. All of the questions in these collections have been shaped with students to help build meaningful connections that make a big difference.

We believe in the potential of inclusive design to shift power to students and to create more empowering learning environments. At Along, we’re always looking for ways to bring in student voices.

You can log in to Along now to view the new collections: Conversation starters, from students and Growing and learning, from students

We also want to hear directly from educators who are utilizing Along with their students this year. Tell us your stories for consideration on the Along blog. Please email us at media@along.org to share your experiences.

Desirée Stanley is Along’s Senior Content Manager. Her background is in science and ed tech, and she’s passionate about creating environments where all students can thrive.