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A matter of opinion?:The involvement of student voice in aspects of school management, policy development and initial teacher training

A matter of opinion?:The involvement of student voice in aspects of school management, policy development and initial teacher training


JohnEdwards University of Portsmouth, Introduction tudent voice (sometimes termed `pupil Svoice') has developed, both within the literature and in daily practice, as a port- manteau term over the past 20 years. In its broadest application it refers to elements of a school's activities and routines which involve pupils in some degree of interaction and decision-making in respect of policy and practice. The two titles illustrate something of the problematic nature of the concept – `pupil' connoting someone who is under the direct authority of a teacher or tutor, in essence a subordinate status; `student' connoting someone who has, potentially, a greater share of autonomy in the organisation of their educa- tional experience. At its most basic, student voice implies an element of agency on the part of the individual learner, a capacity to select from, reflect upon and critique what is on offer in schools. Rudduck (2002) suggests: Schools in their deep structures and patterns of relationship have changed less in the last fifteen years or so than young people have changed . . . we know that from an early age young people are capable of insightful and constructive analysis of social situations and if their
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