I am writing this post from Rome. Rome has grown up and on top of its citizens –what’s visible just a fragment of what lies beneath. The ruins of the Roman Forum sparked thoughts about student voice excavation, school/classroom cultures and how the work of the archaeologist relates to student voice practitioners. How will educational archaeologists know that adults and young people like you shifted paradigms in classrooms and schools?
I have read a little on this trip about archaeology. Excavation is different from earlier days where ruins were uncovered feverishly and stacks of earth and detritus quickly removed. Today archaeologists start from the fact that each ‘strategraphic layer’ is a witness of a phase of history and, before being erased for ever, it must be studied, drawn and photographed. Completed in this fashion, researchers assemble the most documents to proceed into a deep knowledge of the past.
Student Voice practitioners may wish to apply the strategraphic method in advance of this school year’s student voice/student-adult partnership work. Qualitative research methods will provide you with the tools you need (e.g. Students as Researchers toolkits-more on this later).
Vigilantly document(text/audio/ visual) the artifacts that shape your learning. Schedule time for validating observations as student/adult partners, discussing and finding common ground with student partners on the important lessons to be learned. Those who follow you will be saved the arduous task of trying to assemble from the detritus the: basis for strong foundations; types and components for pillars and how the connections were made to other communities as they strive to establish successful, positive student voice/ student-adult partnerships of their own.
Accessing current articles and educational research is problematic. The costs present barriers for teachers and students. The school library might be able to assist. Why isn’t Academic Research free to everyone? I will dig into this post in more depth at a later date and invite guests who may wish to blog about this to do so here.
Bottom line. You matter. Your reflections matter. Sharing your experience here will matter a great deal to the student voice professional learning community.