Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Student Voice - and they will hold their own!!
Student voice - almost hidden from sight but not from being heard!
Two different events in the last few days where student voice continued to impress those that considered themselves 'experts'.
One, a mid term design review for a new school last week. It was great to see student representatives amongst the architects, builders, elected members and local authority staff. Not only did the students present have a view - they defended it rigorously to all, irrespective of position. It was really quite funny to see experienced architects commenting that they would not like to take these four foot nothing students on in debate, and then wondering if they wanted a job. It was just fab to watch.
Even better, being involved in the whole design process over months to get to this day had really effected their thought on their own future. One was really quite clear that he wanted to be a scientist. This was a direct result of all the work they had on sustainability and its contribution to school design during the process so far.
The second event was this week, in a very different town in another part of the UK. They are just considering the start of their BSF bid. Whilst authority representatives were discussing the steps they had undertaken so far, they admitted that they had undertaken a lot of student engagement and and been blown away by the responses they had got, with many ideas that they simply had not thought of! They really did seem surprised about just how engaged the students had been and what strong views they had.
Not sure why really - lots of people have been saying for a very long time that, given the chance, students do want to get involved with their learning, certainly can contribute and happy to work with adults in helping develop ideas. that is ........ if we ask them!
The two events were very different - but at least both, in their different ways acknowledged the potential power of student voice. Long may it continue.