Literacy 4-6

Systems Change
Literacy 4-6 > Strategies > Encourage Student Self-advocacy

Encourage Student Self-advocacy


Overtly encouraging all students to seek support and ask questions creates a safe space for risk-taking and skill development. Fostering an environment for self-advocacy helps students to take ownership of their own learning needs.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch as this fourth grade teacher practices using the Question Formulation Technique with her class. Students use their Social Awareness & Relationship Skills as they gather together in a group to use the protocol to generate questions. Explicitly teaching strategies for generating questions helps create an environment where all students are expected to and feel confident asking questions.

  • When students practice advocating for themselves, they develop their Metacognition and Self-regulation skills. To support students in developing these skills, teachers can point out when peers ask questions to clear up misconceptions or for tools they need. By naming what the student specifically did, the teacher provides models for all of the students.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how products like GoSoapBox use anonymity to help students feel comfortable asking questions or for help. Students experience fewer barriers to showing that they do not understand something when they can ask questions in a more private manner.

  • Providing a help option to access more information or instructions is a way of creating a virtual environment that invites help-seeking behaviors. In addition, providing ample opportunities for learners to digitally ask questions to their teachers also promotes continual question-asking behaviors.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy