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Roberts & Kay has worked with the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and the Partnership for Kentucky Schools to explore ways to include students as full partners in improving teaching and learning. Here are three resources from that work:

Turn Up the Volume: The Students Speak Toolkit (pdf), Second Edition, provides detailed guidance for carrying out topnotch, research-quality focus groups. This toolkit grew out of work Roberts & Kay did with schools and school systems committed to teaching middle school and high school students to conduct professional quality focus group research on teaching and learning.

Students Speak: How Kentucky Middle and High School Students View School (pdf), the original study commissioned to learn directly from students how they experience school. This study led to extensive work to engage students more deeply in improving teaching and learning, first by engaging them as carefully trained researchers with their peers.

“The Best Hour I’ve Spent in School:” A Case Study of the 2001–2002 Turn Up the Volume Projects at Noe and Westport Middle Schools, Louisville, Kentucky (pdf), a detailed description of one student research project carried out jointly with two middle schools.


The Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, founded in 2012, carries the work of student participation in education policy and improvement to new levels. The students engaged in this work, and their adult allies, are changing Kentucky education in remarkable ways, and have just begun.

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