Student participation is the act of learners taking part in something in visible, observable and active ways.
Adults can engage students; adults involve students; but adults cannot participate students. Instead, students have to choose to participate for themselves.
As a practice, student participation asks that students show up to class, pay attention to the teacher, studiously take notes, answer questions when asked, and leave when it’s time. However, some practitioners promote student participation as more than that, too.
Instead, they see student participation as the vibrant, brilliant and spectacular interaction of students, between students and adults, and between schools and the larger communities. Many of these same advocates suggest that student participation relies on student voice, leads to Meaningful Student Involvement and ultimately causes student engagement.