Student Voice

26 Jul

Week two of the holidays and it seems strange to be at school and have no students. It made me reflect on a book I read last year The Global Fourth Way: The Quest for Educational Excellence (Corwin, September 2012) that ‘Without students, there would be no teachers. Their voices matter a lot.’ I might be getting a great deal done but what a strange place a school is without students.

The authors admit that while students are targets of school reform and change, they are not often empowered to be agents of change despite having a good grasp of the things that help them learn.

Earlier in my blog this year I asked the question ‘what makes a good teacher’:

  • knows how to teach and knows their subject
  • can communicate – gets all students involved by asking questions
  • knows the students and they are able to understand who the teacher is
  • doesn’t teach from the text books
  • uses eLearning
  • good sense of humour

Interestingly enough similar themes here reflected in Ka Hikitia. I wonder what my students in ten year time would say. I think it would be the same. Personally I believe good teachers have deep discipline and pedagogical content knowledge (knows how to teach and knows their subject), adapt to the capabilities of students (can personalise learning) and can communicate with a good sense of humour (builds respectful relationships).

For me, it is confirmation that these qualities stand the test of time and learners.  We know what teachers want but how often do we ask or know what students want from their schooling experience? I often experience teachers telling me they understand student voice but do they? Especially if it’s not what they want to hear. Just a thought.

Professional Reading:

The Best Evidence Synthesis has just been updated. This is well worth a look.

http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/topics/

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