Second International Seminar: Amplifying Student Voice & Partnership – July 5-7, 2017 – Burlington, VT, USA

Second International Seminar: Amplifying Student Voice & Partnership Flyer

This international seminar will build on our successful convening last summer where experts from practice, research, and policy realms gathered from around the world to consider the pressing questions of amplifying youth voice, youth agency, and the development of the youth-adult partnership paradigm. We will deepen our understanding of our work and collectively advance this nascent eld, by optimizing the passion and diversity of this learning community. Dialogue will focus on:

Outcomes for Young People: We will explore the ways student voice and partnership can foster positive youth development outcomes as well as more traditional outcomes in academic learning. For example, how can we measure and explore the development of agency among young people?

Outcomes for Change: We will explore how we can advocate for bringing the ideas of youth voice and partnership to policy makers. What are opportunities for interacting with local, state, and federal policy makers, to help them understand the value of young people becoming active in their learning and school decision-making processes? How can these concepts be woven into the fabric of teacher training programs?

The Intersection of Student Voice and Partnership with Other Student-Centered Initiatives: We will explore the essential components of youth voice and partnership. How are student voice and partnership similar and different from other initiatives on the agendas in many states, such as personalized learning and proficiency based learning? How can student voice and partnership work together to make these efforts synergistic? How can we push for youth voice work in its own right?


The seminar is designed to create multiple opportunities for deep conversation and collaboration, as well as presentations and keynotes by experts in related fields. Participants will have an opportunity to share their work, explore common dilemmas, and help shape the content at several points by defining and/or facilitating small group sessions. This year will include the option of forming action planning task forces to encourage on-going advocacy and collaboration on identified issues of importance.


Dates and Times:

  • July 5, 1 – 5 p.m., followed by a reception
  • July 6, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • July 7, 9 a.m. – noon

Location: University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA

The University of Vermont (UVM) is located in Burlington, the birthplace of John Dewey and the largest city in the state (population 55,000). The conference will be held in the air-conditioned Davis Center this year. The city is situated on the shore of Lake Champlain, overlooking the Adirondack mountain range in the adjacent state of New York. The Green Mountains are immediately to the east. The city has a vibrant waterfront area and a wide array of excellent restaurants. Burlington is less than two hours from Montreal, three hours from Boston and five hours from New York City.


Funding has been secured to offset the cost of the meeting facility and food during our seminar sessions, thanks to the generosity of the Bay and Paul Foundations. The registration fee of $150 for all adults helps to offset the balance of expenses and subsidize youth participants. (Note: If this is a significant barrier to attending, please contact Helen Beattie at Participants will be responsible for all travel and lodging expenses and meals not otherwise provided. Dorm rooms have been secured for those who would appreciate this lower-cost housing option.


As an invitation-only event with a maximum of 90 participants, it is important to register at your earliest convenience by following this link: If you need time to secure resources or address logistics before registering but are confident that you will attend, please e-mail Helen Beattie at to reserve a spot. Registration will be open until June 22, 2017.


The event is hosted by UP for Learning, the University of Vermont Education Department, and the Donald J. Willower Center for the Study of Leadership and Ethics at Pennsylvania State University. It is made possible with support from the Bay and Paul Foundations.

The conference evolved out of five Student Voice Seminars held 2010–2015 in Cambridge, England. The meetings were established in honor of Dr. Jean Rudduck, a pioneer and ardent advocate for elevating the role of students in school redesign. Dr. Alison Cook-Sather, internationally recognized as a researcher and leader in the field of amplifying youth voice, hosted these gatherings, in partnership with Dr. Bethan Morgan. A vital learning community evolved, sharing work through presentations, structured dialogue, small group work sessions, and informal networking.

One important outcome of this work has been the creation of the new peer-reviewed journal, the International Journal of Student Voice, spearheaded by Dr. Dana Mitra at Penn State University.