Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Student Voice silences the 'professionals'

Attending the Hertfordshire BSF Bidders Day yesterday, it was really pleasing to see and hear students contributing to the presentation. This is not unusual as at many bidders days a group of students perform a piece of drama or similar about past, current and future education and then leave the stage.

Yesterday, a small student panel outlined their priorities and then took questions from the floor. Those adults who have not worked in schools recently and do not realise just how bright and articulate some students are should always beware!! A variety of questions were asked from the floor by a series of 'professionals' - some of appeared to have been 'made easy'. Oh dear - what a mistake!!!! They were immediately dispatched with a real clarity and understanding by a student who was, I fear, far more articulate than many of those present. It was brilliant.

Students there clearly expect to be involved, have clear priorities and even mused out loud whether they in fact be given a veto if they did not think bid teams had listened to them and addressed their needs. These needs were, as expected, predominantly about learning, something they displayed real passion for, not just for them but also for those students who would be using new facilities for years ahead. Regular readers of this blog will know that for years I have stressed the need to really engage students who frequently (but not always) know far more about their own preferred learning styles than their teachers.

It got to the stage yesterday where a number of people asked members of the student panel out loud if they were available for consultancy - I suspect they were only half joking!

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