1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Pupil Voice and Student Leadership- Good or bad things?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by oldandrew, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. OldAndrew still hasn't made the distinction that you pointed out yourself, Matt - whether dislike of student participation is based on evidence from overall research of all such systems (including good ones), or only personal anecdotal observations of situations where it has not worked for any positive effect.

    (To give a similar example, we could imagine classes of students who were all so badly behaved individually that they were impossible to teach as a group. Based on this experience, the teacher could claim that "students simply cannot be taught" and view education cynically.)
  2. "The 'above' that you refer to are more often than not the most experienced educators, i.e head teachers and SLT."
    Hahahaha. Oh please!

  3. Not only is the point above laughably flawed but I actually am referring to politicians and quangocrats.
  4. It appears that at least Rutter's research is correlational and statistically significant (see under the "Relationships Between Outcomes" heading:

    As it is correlational, it may not show that more student participation improves school effectiveness. It could simply be that a school with better behaviour can employ such measures without them going wrong; therefore good schools have more student participation. However, if schools were compared which were as equal as possible, only differing in their amount of student participation, it might be seen to have a statistically significant effect. Whether Rutter's research did this I do not know.
  5. no problem with that.
    not in real life, nore should it be in school life.

  6. I can't get your link to work.
    But this is ludicrous anyway.
    We had Matt claiming that I was somehow denying evidence of the effectiveness of school councils and Student Voice. He talked of "quantative research" and claimed it had been presented on this thread.

    When challenged he vanished and instead we have you claiming that Long said that Rutter showed:
    "Factors which positively influenced
    outcomes were the degree of the school's academic emphasis, teacher actions in
    lessons, the availability of incentives and rewards, good conditions for
    pupils, and the extent to which children were able to take on responsibilities
    in school."
    This is so far short of being evidence in favour of "school councils and student voice" as to be silly.

  7. [​IMG] Sorry if I don't check the TES forum on my weekends.
    Here are the two latest and fulest studies
    If you were so inclined you could also look at (amongst many others):
    Baginsky, M. and Hannam, D. (1999) School councils: The views of students and teachers. London: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to hildren
    Rudduck, J. and Flutter, J. (2000) Pupil participation and pupil perspective: ?carving a new order of experience? Cambridge Journal of Education
    Weare, K. & Gray (2003) What Works in Developing Children?s Emotional and Social Competence and Wellbeing?
    Flutter, J. and Rudduck, J. (2004) Consulting Pupils: what's in it for schools? London: RoutledgeFalmer
    Cook-Sather, A. (2006) ?Change based on what students say?: preparing teachers for a paradoxical model of leadership International Journal of Leadership in Education 9
    Cotmore, R. (2004) Organisational competence: the study of a school council in action Children and Society

    Fielding, M. (2004) ?New wave? student voice and the renewal of civic society London Review of Education Special issue on ?Education for Civic Society? 2

    Lodge, C. (2005) From hearing voices to engaging in dialogue: problematising student participation in school improvement Journal of Educational Change

    McIntyre, D., Pedder, D. and Rudduck, J. (2005) Pupil voice: comfortable and uncomfortable learnings for teachers Research Papers in Education

    Bell, G. H. (2002) Monitoring the effectiveness of school councils in in Essex 1998 - 2002. Essex: Essex County Council and School Councils UK
    Davies, L., Williams, C. and Yamashita, H. (2006) Inspiring Schools: Impact and Outcomes ? Taking up the Challenge of Pupil Participation. London: Carnegie Foundation.
    Trafford, B. (2003) School Councils, School Democracy, School Improvement: Why, What, How. Leicester; SHA Publications
    Dobie, T. and Wallace, G. M. (2000) Active citizenship in Stirling council schools: A research study on pupil councils. Stirling Council Children's Services
    Fielding, M. (2001) Beyond the rhetoric of student voice: New departures or new constraints in the transformation of 21st century schooling?
    Hannam, D. (2001) A pilot study to evaluate the impact of the student participation aspects of the citizenship order on standards of education in secondary schools - Report for Prof. Bernard Crick.
    Raymond, L. (2001) Student involvement in school improvement: From data source to significant voice.
    Inman, S. and Burke, H. (2002) Schools councils: an apprenticeship in democracy? London: Association of Teachers and Lecturers

    To be frank, (but not to be rude), your claim that there is "a of complete lack of reliable accounts of it working well" simply shows how little you truly know about this area and that your opinions are based on nothing but personal perceptions, a strongly held belief system and an emotive, (rather than a balanced), response

    I could go on by pointing you towards a trench of anecdotal evidence from teachers, pupils and parents, but you've probably got enough to be getting on with for the moment.

  8. I specifically asked if any of the research was statistically significant.
    I'm still waiting.

  9. Well firstly we are not talking about a science experiment here, with control groups and a definitive scale of success and failure. There will always be other influencing and mitigating factors in a setting as complex as a school.
    However, if you had so much as read the summaries of any of the 19 investigations and reports on student partipcation that I pointed you towards, even the links I provided, you may have noticed that the Institute of Education report was an investigate study in 1000 schools, from various geographical areas and student intake, exploring the level of partticipation and the impact that it has had on a wide variety of factors in the schools.
    The Univeristy of Birmingham study was an action research project in 8 London Secondary schools in deprived areas, they each had little to no student participation or school council structures. A baseline study was carried out assessing, amongst others, issues of behaviour, attainment and teacher/pupil relations.
    Over three years complex structures and systems of partipation and student councils were introduced, including the controvertial areas of; the involvement in tackling of poor behaviour, teaching and learning and even appointments. There was then an end of project study exploring the same issues as the baseline study, determining if there had been any movement and improvements.
    I apologise if this methodolgy doesn't stand up to your clearly rigorous assessment of what is 'reliable' . But compare this to your own findings which in your words is based on the following, "It's based on the complete lack of reliable accounts of it working
    well. You can call it anecdotal but teachers do talk about what worked
    at their schools and what didn't, and I've noticed that nobody reliable has noticed anything coming out of "school councils" that is worth the resources put into them."
    Which despite not being exactly rigorous is also clearly incorrect, as I have already pointed you to lots of documents in which many reliable and eminent people have noticed an immense value.
    Anyway, i'm done with this, all i'm trying to say is that there is in fact lots and lots of evidence that challenges your thinking, and I believe that it's our reponsibility to continually asses the way in which we work and to explore any possible other ways of working, and to not be afraid to challenge our own convictions. At the very least, we should be open to other opinions and views and make a proper and full assesment.
  10. This seems to me to be the difference between Matt_'s and Oldandrew's methods. Matt_ is interested in finding evidence to support position, Oldandrew is already convinced of the correctness of something to the point of not requiring research.

    I do not understand how you can be sure that something is empirically correct without esteeming empirical research.
  11. That's why statisticians have methods of controlling for other influences.
    Ironic isn't it? First you lecture me on how the evidence should cause us to abandon the lessons of experience. Then it turns out the evidence isn't actually terribly reliable.
    I am open to other opinions. I am perfectly prepared to listen if somebody I know to be a mainstream classroom teacher says: "the introduction of a student council and student voice has improved my ability to do my job in my classroom". The trouble is this never happens. Instead we have the received wisdom of the very people (SMT, DCSF, educationalists, local authorities etc. etc.) who have done the most to wreck our schools. I didn't believe them when they said coursework would raise academic standards. I didn't believe them when they endorsed mixed ability teaching. I didn't believe them when they said children could learn to read by being told to like books. I didn't believe them when they said "including" badly behaved kids would do them good.
    On every issue I have seen that they have been wrong and that experienced classroom teachers were right. So why should I trust them on this one and ignore the evidence of my own eyes?
  12. "At the very least, we should be open to other opinions and views and make a proper and full assesment."
    I agree entirely Matt, shame that you seem to be completely closed to the idea that the DCSF/OFSTED may be wrong or that anyone challenging you may have a point. Additionally, in academic study it is normal for students to be encouraged to critique and challenge published papers, rather than accept at face value. I'm sure that if I tried hard enough I could get a paper published 'proving' that student voice was either good or bad, depending on the evidence, participants and literature I chose.
  13. westnab

    westnab New commenter

    " I didn't believe them when they said coursework would raise academic standards. I didn't believe them when they endorsed mixed ability teaching. I didn't believe them when they said children could learn to read by being told to like books. I didn't believe them when they said "including" badly behaved kids would do them good.

    On every issue I have seen that they have been wrong and that experienced classroom teachers were right. So why should I trust them on this one and ignore the evidence of my own eyes?"

    This is absolutely right. In many cases, including my own, classroom teachers have very little confidence in the actions and motives of their SLT who are out of touch with the realities of the goings on in some classrooms. As has been said before, I'm all for students taking responsibility and getting heard in student councils. However, I see no value whatsoever in children interviewing professionals. Nobody has said what is achieved when I am asked at interview by children "Do you like sport?" If that is important, why doesn't the adult interview panel ask me?

    I also do not believe them when my SLT tell me pupil observations will only be used to help the pupils understand what good lessons look like with a view to them thinking about their conduct in lessons and not to judge teachers or to influence performance management. Why then to they hand pick all the good, intelligent kids to train as observers? They already know that their classmates are destroying their learning and need to learn how to behave! Kids observe my lessons all day long anyway - when I'm teaching them - why do they need to sit at the back with a clipboard, making me feel undermined?

    Some SLTs lie to their staff. The staff are fully aware of this. There is no trust.
  14. Interesting debate, though I won't get involved as it's probably a little late to do so. However, I am interested if anyone knows of any research studies that suggest improving pupil voice/student participation as negative influences on school develpoment. I'm not particularly interested in anecdotal evidence as it's for an MA paper and I have gathered enough of that through my own research.
    Many thanks.

Share This Page