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Guest Research Roundup:
Gary Briggs

In this feature, we ask experts in the field to recommend resources related to programmatic work we are exploring with our partners. The goal is to provide helpful additional background and associated research for those interested in learning more.

This month’s program spotlight [forthcoming] highlights our work bringing students into the conversation between coaches and teachers. For recommended resources on student engagement strategies, we reached out to Gary Briggs, who recently joined NTC’s systems impact team. We are grateful to Gary for his insights.

When grappling with tough challenges, it’s hard to imagine being able to make progress without engaging those closest to the issue. Our students are acutely aware of the disparities that exist in their schools and larger communities. So, as districts and schools work to improve environments for learning, they need to tap into the lived experiences of their students, include their voices, and elevate their ideas and perspectives as critical to improving the overall culture of the classroom. And when educators make the decision to include student voice in their efforts to improve, they signal their understanding that teaching and learning is a reciprocal, relational human exchange. 

Recommended resources:

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to student engagement. This resource for educators at the state, district, and school level provides multiple strategies for elevating student voice, with the pros and cons for each.

Student-Powered Improvement provides space for educators to assess where they are on the “elevating student voice” journey. The case studies assist in building a framework for action in districts and schools, with an emphasis on dismantling adultism.

This collection of stories provides practical suggestions for engaging students of different age ranges, not just older students. There are also ideas for how to weave student voice into a diverse set of lesson plans, from reading to gym class.

The pandemic deeply affected the student experience. This report focuses on how school leaders made the conscious decision to amplify student voice during this time, employing multiple strategies to inform instructional practices.

About Gary Briggs

Gary Briggs is systems impact director at NTC with a focus on family and community engagement. He previously served as executive director of EdNavigator, a New Orleans-based nonprofit that empowers families nationwide by providing access to affordable, high-quality support along the path to a great education. He has an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.S. in political science from Texas Christian University.