Towards a Rationale for Student Voice in the classroom and in schools

CPD Nr.: 
Developed by: 
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, (NCCA) Ireland

Sound, Presence, and Power: "Student Voice" in Educational Research and Reform, Cook-Sather, Alison. Curriculum Inquiry, v36 n4 p359-390 Win 2006


NCCA Learner Voice Research Study Report (2018)

The Lundy Model of Child Participation (2007)

Purpose of the material: 

This workshop is designed to provide teachers and school management to become more familiar with the importance of and rationale for student voice in the classroom and in our schools.  The workshop also allows participants to clarify for themselves what they see as the important rationale for student voice.



Student Voice Rationale Handouts


Step 1:  Hearts and Minds: Consider a time that you had your voice really heard – in work, at home, in another setting?  What words would you use to desciribe that experience?  How and whay was this experience imporatn/significant?   Participants input their words on the Mentimeter link.  The discussion that follows can highligh light the important words, whay these are important and how they too might resomnnate with young people in our schools.

Step 2: Individually at each table, particiants are asked to read one section of a rationale from the Handout.  Participants then meet with in groups of three drawn from across the room to discuss the following:  What struck you about the rationale that you were given?  Do you agree/disagree?   Wh would this consideration be important for learners in your school? Finally, participants return to their tables and agree the three most important rationales for greater student voice in schools.

Step 3: Work through the slides placing them in your particular context.

  1. Step 4:  With Slide 12, in pairs, invite particpants to consider the following:
  2. What is the Student Voice culture currently in our context in our school, in  our system?
  3. What are the stories we tell? What are the stories told about our school(s)?
  4. What does this reveal about our beliefs and values about student voice?

At the table, agree the three/four important considerations  emerging from this conversations.  What might be considered as strengths, as challenges?

Step 4:

What are the next steps for this group in progressing a culture of Student Voice in our school(s)?

How you can use this material in your practice: 

This workshop is a useful introductory workshop for a schol or groupo of schools to reflect on why student in important, what is the present culture and how can practice be developed.


This material reflects only the author’s view; the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.