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    How can I use Student Voice to Enhance my Understanding of the Learning Experiences of the Child?

    Dillon, Maria (2021) How can I use Student Voice to Enhance my Understanding of the Learning Experiences of the Child? Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This self-study action research project investigated: How can I use student voice to enhance my understanding of the learning experiences of the child? This study was inspired by the growing interest and research surrounding the need for schools to incorporate the voice of the child in relation to their learning and decision making affecting their learning experiences. This study resulted from a personal interest with the aim of including the voice of the student more within my everyday practice to help me live closer to my values. I designed and planned an intervention which involved two components: teacher designed lessons based around student voice (what it is, why it is important, the child’s right to a voice, the many positives to using their voice etc.) and the implementation of the activity called PhotoVoice. Action research was selected as the methodology as it enabled me to investigate and improve my own practice. Throughout the research, I collected qualitative data using baseline and post intervention interviews, reflective journal, feedback from critical friend(s) and validation groups, unstructured observations and samples of children’s work. The generation of a living theory was formed through engagement with the reflective process which enabled me to live in the direction of my values. The findings which emerged from the research resulted in three main themes which include: • Teacher as facilitator • The power of student voice • The child as an active agent in their own learning Using student voice to gain a deeper understanding of the learning experiences of the child is a powerful way to encourage and establish more participation, involvement and agency in school life by students. Student voice, when implemented with a genuine interest and betterment of the student's experience in school, can promote a sense of empowerment, increase confidence, motivation and awareness of their right to a voice and can bring about positive change not only for the student but also in relation to the teacher’s own practice. For student voice to be effective, there are many factors needed which include, creating a safe and comfortable space for children to express their opinions, views and thoughts, ensuring that there is a mutual respect and trust and a positive healthy relationship between teacher and student has been developed prior to the implementation of any student voice initiative. Providing choice and opportunity as well as facilitating talk and discussion are all required when accommodating student voice. This research has also inspired a compelling change in my own practice, and in how I include the voice of the child going forward.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Student Voice; Enhance; Learning Experiences; Child; Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 15147
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2021 11:49
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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