In a world where public speaking often determines whose needs are addressed and whose values prevail, how can we create brave classroom spaces where young people can effectively express their thoughts and advocate for themselves and others?
In Amplify Student Voices, AnnMarie Baines, Diana Medina, and Caitlin Healy introduce Expression-Driven Teaching to show how centering youth voices and expression in the classroom meets both academic and social and emotional learning goals. The authors promote instruction in various forms of public speaking—storytelling, debate, poetry, presentation, and self-advocacy—as a way to pursue equity in education and counter the oppression that has long silenced the voices of marginalized groups.
This engaging book features extensive first-person accounts from young people who describe their journey toward effective public speaking and how it has helped them affirm their identity, confront life's many challenges, and pursue opportunities with increased confidence. Their insights also inform and supplement the authors' practical recommendations and how-tos for incorporating the various public speaking formats into everyday instruction at all grade levels and across subject areas.
Both informative and inspiring, Amplify Student Voices challenges traditional notions of "good" public speaking, broadens its definition, and demonstrates how to engage learners to create a world that is more inclusive and just.
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About the Author
Diana Medina, a senior staff member at The Practice Space, is a first-generation Mexican American poet, educator, and storyteller born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has worked in the nonprofit sector uplifting communities of color for the last 16 years. Medina is an alumna of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and the Education Pioneers Graduate Fellowship. In 2021, she released her debut poetry collection Healing Out Loud through Alegria Publishing. Her writing has also been featured in Modern Latina magazine and StoryCenter. Medina holds a bachelor's degree in political science from California State University Northridge and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.
Caitlin Healy, a senior staffer at The Practice Space, is an educator with more than 15 years of experience teaching youth of all ages, as well as adults. Before joining The Practice Space team, she taught social studies for seven years in public schools, where she helped coach teachers on project-based and blended learning. As a program coordinator for San Francisco Peer Resources, Healy supported high school students by facilitating peer education workshops for more than 1,000 middle and high school students. She uses her background in alternative education to advocate for youth pushed to the margins by public school systems. Healy has a master's degree in education and a teaching credential from Mills College and a bachelor's degree in American studies from UC Santa Cruz.
What People are Saying About This
Amplify Student Voices is an invaluable resource for educators, caregivers, and any adult seeking to do exactly what the title says: to amplify the voices of students, and show them that their stories, identities, and ideas matter. Practical and insightful, accessible and thorough, Amplify Student Voices offers a diverse array of strategies, exercises, and prompts to engage students and boost confidence. It's an impactful reminder of the powers of public speaking and the deep wisdom inherent in all young people.
— Kate Schatz, New York Times bestselling author of the "Rad Women" book series and Do the Work: An Antiracist Activity Book
Amplify Student Voices is nothing short of remarkable. In a time when youth are expected to remain docile, passive, and silent, these authors bring the voices of adolescents front and center. They take young people's ideas and passions seriously. Rooted in the personal stories of young people and the authors, this book's approach to designing spaces for youth voices to sing across classrooms should be required reading for administrators, teachers, parents, and even students.
–—Antero Garcia, associate professor, Stanford University