The first session of the Start the Change course for teachers was held in Portugal at the School cluster José Estevão. Some teachers and other educational experts participated online, but most of the participants were there in person.
This first module of the educational program “START THE CHANGE: this is my change – empowering schools to enable student’s voice, participation and agency” included a presentation of the project and an introduction to the themes related to the active participation of students and the impact of their own voice in issues related to the school environment.
After a brief presentation of the Start the Change project and its overall goals, we introduced the theme “Entrepreneurship and participation of young people in school life”, where we together explored what the students’ voice is. In this part, we presented a quotation related to the school environment and activities, previously gathered with students of all participant schools during the focus groups. We then explored research findings and students’ participation models to support the project’s aims and the benefits of empowering students to participate in their school issues.
Participants were then invited to share some possible activities to address the most common problems and enhance students’ voice. The session was very productive and all participants seemed eager to share helpful and “out-of-the-box” ideas. Given the pandemic situation, the next course sessions are being held online.