Student Well-Being

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

Promoting Active Participation of Children and Youth

Learners, especially youth and adults, should be involved in the development and management of their educational system. Children must have opportunities to learn the skills and practices to help them protect themselves and other children in their community. These learning experiences should emphasize their capacity to participate constructively and initiate positive change. Such participation might include developing peer support groups, suggesting improvements in school activities or reporting and preventing abuse within the learning environment.

All kinds of tasks arising during crises can be used as opportunities to involve young people in planning and design as well as in the running of such activities (e.g., providing recreational activities for children and youth). Young people should also be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of child- and youth-related interventions. When it comes to activities that are important for the community, it can be of particular value to involve young people who are not attending schools. This gives them positive alternatives in the face of negative influences such as crime, armed groups, etc. Involving young people lays the groundwork for child and youth involvement in community affairs, partnership between young people and adults in community reconstruction and opportunity for children and youth to bring unique ideas, skills, resources and information to activities.

Furthermore, teachers who take young people's opinions and ideas seriously can model such behaviors to parents, the community and other service providers (e.g., health care and social workers).

Click here to review the INEE Minimum Standards. Look particularly at the Guidance Note on page 17, at Access and Learning Environment, Standard 2 and Teachers and Other Education Personnel, Standard 3 for more information about promoting active student and youth participation.