I’m really exploring the concept of Student Voice at the moment. Both in my writing and in my work with schools.
Last week I was invited back to the school where I last taught in 2012. I was part of a panel for an evening that the Year 12s had put on to discuss some of the issues that they deem important.
The night broadly fell into to areas of discussion; the environment and education.
The night was in the format of the ABC’s Q&A program and was expertly hosted by one of the Year 12s. The audience was made up of students, parents and the extended school community.
It was wonderful to hear students asking insightful questions, and making incisive comments – particularly from my point of view – on education.
I started to wonder if this could be something that schools do as a matter of course. Q&As with teachers, school leadership or local businesses perhaps?
I came across a school in the UK who are doing just that and it looks to be something of a marquee event for the school and community.
Another great example of listening to the student voice is taking place in one of my Partner Schools, where from next year, Year 10 students will have time allocated in their timetable to pursue anything that interests them. They will be grouped with like-minded students, and as their teacher says, “We’ll just see what happens.”
Some companies embrace the idea of allowing their employees to pursue personal interest projects, and it’s really exciting for me to see the schools I work with starting to try it out!
Author: Dan Haesler is a teacher, consultant and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars. His website is: http://danhaesler.com/ and he tweets at @danhaesler