Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being / Creating Healing Classrooms / Promoting Active Participation of Children and Youth

Promoting Active Participation of Children and Youth

The sixth and final component of a Healing Classroom is the promotion of: active participation of children and youth through student engagement in decision-making in school and in finding solutions to challenges.

In situations of crisis and post-crisis, children and youth often feel very powerless and unable to do anything to improve the situation for themselves or their families. They may feel they have little control of their situations. They may also feel "in the dark" about what is happening and why. Despite this need to actively participate, it is often in situations of crises when people are least likely to take time to consult with students.

Adults around them may be stressed, busy, and far too preoccupied to consider asking children and youth what they think and how they feel about a certain situation. These adults – including teachers, parents and program staff – may be under pressure to make quick decisions to ensure that children and youth are protected.

Nevertheless, taking the time to consult with children and youth about decisions and events that affect their lives can have the most positive impact.

Why encourage active participation of children and youth?

  1. Children and youth provide a valuable perspective.

  2. It's their right!

  3. Active participation in decisions and events that affect their lives helps children and youth cope with crisis situations.