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SPC Presentation - Student Voice

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by

Matthew McDonald

on 7 June 2012

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Transcript of SPC Presentation - Student Voice

What is Student Voice? Student Voice is the individual and collective perspective and actions of young people within the context of learning and education.
Active Participation Passive Participation Knowledge Voting Wisdom Activism Beliefs Service Opinions Leadership Ideas Student Voice reflects IDENTITY, and comes from a student's experiences, ideas, and knowledge. Student Voice consists of: Meaningful student involvement which is a process for using students as partners in school improvement for the sake of education, community, and democracy. Student engagement which is the excitement and investment a young person feels towards learning What can Student Voice include? Student Leadership Groups Student Representative Councils Student Focus Groups Student Action Teams Student Responsibility Groups Student Interviewers School Captains / Prefects Youth Parliaments Student Researchers Student Learning Walks Curriculum
Co-Construction Student Websites Peer Mentoring Peer Counseling Student Mediation School Surveys Student Circles Student Trainers Student Media
(Newspapers, Television, Radio, Podcasts, etc) AND MUCH, MUCH MORE! Who can listen to Student Voices? Students Teachers Pastoral Care Leaders School Councils School Support Staff State Education Departments Education Researchers Education Policy Makers Parents Community Leaders Politicians Curriculum Bodies School Administration Principals Society Academics Federal Education Department Pupil consultation which is a systematic process for listening to students' opinions about school. Student participation which is a self-determined act of students committing to something in school What can Student Voice positively effect? Student Participation and Ownership of Outcomes
Academic achievement
Youth Development and Civic Engagement
Teachers' feelings of efficacy
Curricular effectiveness
School Improvement How can Student Voice be heard? Challenges Student Voice can be threatening to teachers. Some may seek:
To silence student voice
To limit it to areas of relative safety
Lack of time and space in curriculum can be major obstacles for consulting with students.
Token consultation
Not making room for student voice in the curriculum and then
Not following through on student suggestions
Teachers need to develop skills in order to implement student voice. Policies in Victoria: Ministerial Paper No. 6, Victorian Ministry of Education 1984
Schools of the Future paper, Victorian education system 1993
Blueprint for Government Schools, Department of Education & Training 2003
Standard: Physical, Personal and Social Learning, Learning domains: Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning, VELS Student Voice Evaluation: Who is allowed to speak?
Who listens?
What skills are required and what support is provided for their development?
What attitudes and dispositions are needed to transform skills into meaningful realities?
What systems are needed to sustain this kind of work?
What kinds of organisational culture need to be developed to enable student voice to thrive?
What spaces, both physical and metaphorical are needed for participants to make meaning together?
What are the implications for action?
What are some of the key considerations to take into account in helping student voice to be and become a significant part of the process of communal renewal? STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCILS SRCs How was your SRC structured? What was the role of your SRC? What were some characteristics
of your representatives? Can you remember a time when you worked with your SRC? Consider these questions: Whispers Activity... Good SRCs: Represent student views within the school Should be a vehicle for student voice and student participation in schools
Share in decisions on school issues Build relationships and community school spirit
Respond to student concerns and needs
Bring about changes in school and wider community
Provides a network linking SRC’s across Victoria
Creates a forum for students state wide to discuss school issues
Raises Profile of representative bodies
A recognised student representative body
Facilitate and co-ordinate action by secondary students
Strengthens SRC’s
Student Run
Building Standards For Active Participation of Students Evidence of LISTENING Evidence of PLANNING Evidence of CHANGE Engagement Event RESEARCH PHASE Research Reporting Event ACTION PHASE Action Reporting Event Basic Process of a SAT: Student Responsibility Groups Student Action Teams
(School Based) Student Action Teams
(Community Based) TEACHER CONTROL UNCERTAINTY Different Levels of Student Control What is a Student Action Team (SAT) ? Student Action Teams involve a group of students who work on a real, identified issue of community interest. The students carry out research on the topic and develop solutions – either proposals for others or action they then take. SATs are not simply where students have responsibility for implementing a project. The students themselves must have responsibility for researching and investigating an area, and they should be expected to make changes to the status quo. If students are not doing this, but the project still has a strong student participatory focus, then we may be looking at a STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY GROUP, but NOT an SAT. SATs have DECREASED TEACHER CONTROL, resulting in INCREASED UNCERTAINTY as students are given greater control over the potential outcomes. Students are not only involved in DETERMINING the topic and IMPLEMENTING the plan, but are responsible for the nature of that plan itself and the ultimate OUTCOME. The Role of the Teacher Teachers are to act as FACILITATORS for the SAT. This role is very important. Teachers will be required to: Select Students (directly or indirectly) Organise Teams Organise Presentation/Reflection Days Facilitate Student Forums Provide Assistance Oversee and Supervise Student Actions Provide Advice Provide Resources Liaise with other Staff Respond to Questions HOWEVER, teachers are not the leaders of the project, and whilst they are expected to intervene and provide assistance, this will ideally be at the request of those students running the SAT. A SAT is NOT an excuse for students to be doing the work of teachers! Time commitments are often greater for teachers involved Considerable resources (both staffing and finance) can be required, depending on the nature of the project. Why use SATs . . . Gives students a sense of meaning and purpose Give students a sense of control Give students a sense of belonging or bonding Gives young people an active role as part of their community Gives young people a role as community investigators Young people are doing something that makes a difference or brings about change Programs involve learning and meeting academic goals Purposeful:
students see outcomes that are important to them Productive:
students create something that makes a difference Communal:
students work together with fellow students, teachers and others Trust Expectations Support Enhances student engagement in learning Reduce the risks of alienation or isolation Increases students’ knowledge and skills Improves student attitudes Builds a sense of connectedness to their school Develops links between students to their communities Students feel in control The school obtains a different point of view Innovative outcomes Students as experts Students have ownership of outcomes Scenario Activity Form groups of four Read your scenario Pretend you are a teacher in charge of establishing and facilitating a SAT Plan out your role : How can a SAT be used to address this issue? What will your role be? What outcomes might be possible? Scenario 1: Bullying Scenario 2: Transition Issues that SATs have been used to address Community Safety Traffic Safety Environment Police Relations Intergenerational Conflict Bullying Sanitation Values School Engagement Transitions Student Voice Alcohol Abuse Racism Student Safety Fund Raising Developing Community Facilities Student Wellbeing Truancy Social Identity Playground Equiptment School Curriculum Peer Support Students placed posters around the school (this made students aware of what bullying is and how to deal with it).
Students surveys the whole of Year 8, the results of which were present both to staff and Year 8 students as a whole.
Following the success of the survey, Years 9 and 10 were surveyed as well.
Approached the school principal requesting that a peer mediation program be implemented.
Presented anti-bullying presentations and role-plays to primary school students, be ensure that they knew about bullying and how to deal with such problems.
Permanent student-run anti-bullying committee was established in the school. Resulted in an increased student awareness of what bullying is, its different forms, both within our college and community.
Increased staff awareness of the bullying that occurs within the college: the type, location, amount and by whom.
Taught students how to deal with bullying, and where they can go for help within the college, in local primary schools and in the community.
Brought about further action, such as working with the bullying committee to survey years 7, 9 and 10 and the possibility of interviewing those student offenders listed in the surveys, and the possibility of implementing Peer Mediation.
The SATs work supplemented their Health curriculum.
The project helped students to improve their skills in cooperation, responsibility, communication, and brain storming, working to a deadline and dealing with constructive criticism. Year 7 students were asked to come up with a way of preparing Year 6 students with the knowledge they would need to make the transition to secondary school smoothly. The Year 7 students were asked to reflect on their own transition, and think of what they themselves would have liked to have known, etc.
Resulted in a student-lead Transition Day, where groups of Year 7 students went back to their old primary schools in order to run activities and presentations for Year 6 students.
They presented portfolios of their work and explained their timetables so that the primary school students obtained an idea of what they would be expected to do.
The day included a number of activities, including student-led discussion forums, role-plays. presented a 'Day-In-The-Life-Of-A-Secondary-School-Student' DVD which they had made, helping the primary school students make a small book of handy hints for starting secondary school. The day was entirely student led and organised. Students had planned all the activities and ran them themselves in small groups.
It took students a while to understand the project, and they found the process challenging to organise, but they all thought that it was a very worthwhile activity.
Very positive feedback from both the SAT students, Year 6 students, teachers at both schools, and parents.
Worked to build the leadership skills and confidence of those involved in the SAT.
Helped to create links between the Year 6 and 7 students, and between Year 7 students and teachers at both schools.
Resulted in recommendations to make these 'Back To' days an ongoing, student-operated project, with more time devoted to the primary school presentations.
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