This blog article is a simple yet practical introduction to increasing student voice and choice and engaging students in their learning. It suggests that 'personalized learning' requires voice and not just differentiation for groups or individuals, which is teacher driven. I chose to include this article as I felt the ten- step sequence could be applied across all curriculum areas. The sequence would sit well within an inquiry cycle as it utilises prior knowledge, a provocation and student driven questions to explore curriculum learning criteria but the students choose ways to explore and demonstrate their understanding of the concept.
A scholarly e-print article that explores the benefits of involving students in conversations about their learning for enhanced teaching and learning. Similarly, Rudduck & Fielding (2006) suggests that student voice can be "tokenistic" with voice represented only by elected members in the school council and student learning is not discussed by students. The paper suggests student dialogue with peers and teachers about their learning to improve teaching pedagogy and to enhance student learning outcomes. Many of our classes do use metacognitive reflective practices such a journaling and promote peer reflection but how many students give feedback to their teachers about their teaching or the learning tasks? The article suggests the notion of 'power over participation" with many teachers having power over who speaks, who listens, what is allowed to be discussed and in what manner.
This journal article explores the importance of student voice in the educational process as it allows primary aged children to increase their engagement as well as their personal and social development. It suggests the need to involve students individually in collective decision making processes. I felt this linked well with my exploration into students co-constructing success criteria for assessment tasks. Please note that his article is located within a published journal, Childhood Education, so the link takes you to a paywall to access the full text article.
I chose this resource as it clearly explained what student voice was, why it was important for children's health and it posed questions to make you consider how effectively you were using student voice (p. 3). I found the table with the five levels helpful from adult led decision making in levels 1 to 3 to student led decision making in 4 to 5. It made me reflect on the culture of our school and classroom and how adult driven the decision making process currently is. The www.kidsmatter.edu.au site is a great source for information and resources and links to the You Tube video also on this curation page.
This You Tube video interviews students with their thoughts about student voice and how being considered as part of the learning community values their contributions and ideas. This would be a great resource for generating discussions about student voice at staff meetings or when looking into beliefs and values in your school culture. I included it in my collection as I would like to use it to promote discussion and action around our use of student voice in my educational setting.
In this blog, a secondary school Science teacher looks at the use of student voice . The interesting part of the post for me was a section, "What Does Student Voice Looks Like" with a table about the levels of student voice. The 'levels' are labelled as Inclusion, Integration, Transformation and Empowerment and look at the impact of each 'level' on the teacher, the student and on assessment. This allowed me to reflect on the levels of student voice in my own classroom in relation to the table provided which was thought provoking. As it was one in a series of blogs, the whole article was not particularly relevant for my needs. However, the table provided me with a continuum of what student voice could look like, where I was and a goal for my next step in increasing student voice to enhance learning and contribute to student assessment.
This scholarly article (2006) provoked me to consider my intentions for investigating student voice, suggesting 'surface compliance' by educators who focus on 'how' to use student voice rather than 'why' they use it. The authors summarised student voice into three main areas; power between students and teachers, authenticity of learning and student inclusion in the learning process. This article although long, did make me consider the contradiction of educational expectations on our students; balancing student consultation against testing systems that categorizes students against each other. The article concludes by suggesting that the whole school culture and time needed to be considered when considering successful student voice.
This blog post has eight simple and clear suggestions for reducing teacher talk and allowing greater student voice in the classroom setting. Reading it made me reflect on the amount of teacher talk that occurs in our classrooms and how often I jump in to give 'feedback' before providing opportunities for students to reflect on their progress or task. I love the suggestions to "turn statements into questions or prompts" and to "notice moments when you review/ summarise for students and instead get their input". Similar to Lodge (2008) the author looks at the power of who is talking and providing opportunities for dialogue and reflection. This article, although not peer reviewed, is quick and easy to read, current and promotes student voice in classroom settings.
This short blog article from Rebecca Alber, an online Edutopia editor, posed questions for me to consider about how student-centered my classroom currently is and how much it acknowledges student voice and choice. This article would again be a great discussion starter with teaching teams in collegial discussions about student voice. Her article was more credible with the reference to researchers in inquiry learning, Wiggins and McTighe, and their research that recommended a balance of teacher roles including direct and facilitated teaching.
This book is a current, well researched practical guide about inquiry learning for primary (and secondary) teachers. Chapter seven (pp 112 - 131) focuses on "personalized learning" and explores personal inquiry approaches such as passion projects, itime, innovation days and discovery workshops with reflection template ideas for students to use in their inquiries. I have chosen this book in my collection as Kath Murdoch is an Australian educator and an authority on inquiry learning. She uses inquiry across the curriculum and encourages students to actively engage in talking and thinking with student centered learning that values student voice and contribution. We have copies at my educational setting for each year level and they are a great resource for professional dialogue as well as planning. This link goes to the publisher's pay wall but is well worth the investment for any inquiry teacher.