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Guest Thinkers

Including student voices

Every once in a while I make a comment on someone else’s blog that I also

wish was on my own. This is one of those occasions…


Fisch wrote


As my team of teachers and I reflected in the evenings and on

the plane ride on the way home [from NECC], we wondered: Where were the students? . . . .

overall, it was a bunch of adults talking about what’s best for students. Now,

don’t get me wrong, I think a bunch of adults talking about what’s best for

students is a fine thing (it’s what I spend most of my time doing, after all),

but I can’t help but wonder how much more powerful it would be to have students

involved in these discussions as well.


my comment


I’ve generally been frustrated with student presentations at

conferences. Folks trot a few students out, pat them on their heads for being

there and sharing their voices, and then go back to doing whatever they were

doing beforehand, giving themselves self-congratulations along the way for

‘including the students.’ I haven’t seen many impactful student presentations in

the sense that adults take the students SERIOUSLY and maybe actually change

their mindset / practice as a result (of course I haven’t seen too many

adult-delivered presentations that do this either, but the level of

condescension isn’t the same). So… I like the idea of including student voices

very much but would encourage some very creative thinking about how to do that

to best effect. I’m sure the Generation Yes folks, among others, would be glad

to help…

Anyone else feel this way? Or have I just been unlucky enough to go to a

bunch of bad student presentations?


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