In episode 28 of the Educational Duct Tape Podcast, Mike Mohammad joined me for a chit-chat. One of the topics that we discussed was student voice. I posed the question, “How can educators provide opportunities for student voice?”
Mike promptly made the distinction between student voice and student choice. While both are powerful things to leverage in the classroom, they are very different (though we often lump them together, as Mike pointed out).
I think that educators’ definitions for the term student voice are inconsistent – some seem to believe that it simply means
– hearing each student’s answer or thinking
– while others believe that it means empowering the students to have a voice in some (or all!) aspects of their education.
Mike made it clear in his response that he subscribes to the 2nd “definition” of student voice. His response fits with the description that Edutopia uses: student voice involves letting “students’ input and expertise … help shape their classroom, their school, and ultimately their own learning and growth.”
I definitely believe that that is the type of student voice that we want to strive for. In a recent #EduDuctTape chat, educators shared their favorite tool for empowering student voice. It’s important to note that simply using the tool doesn’t provide opportunity for or empowerment of student voice. It’s all about how you use it.
Here are some of their responses: