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Curious Minds Presents

What’s all the fuss about......? A series of Twilight training and Development Opportunities for Creative Practitioners, Creative Agents and School Co-ordinators 2010-2011

What’s all the fuss about........ Student Voice and the co-construction of learning? Wallasey School, Wirral, Merseyside - 3 Nov 2010 - 4.15 – 5.30 By the end of the session participants will have explored: 

The concept of learner voice and its practical implementation in schools

Building opportunities for using creative ways to get learner feedback in schools

Using a CPproject to reinforce whole school practice in co-construction of learning and or student voice

What to do with the voices once you’ve got them

How creative evidencing of learner voice activities can demonstrate impact and contribute to whole school development

INPUT/Activity

Time

Introduction 

Input Aims for the session

4.15 – 4.20

What constitutes Learner Voice and Co-construction of Learning? 

Activity 1 A discussion carousel

Input

4.20 – 4.35

Why does the Learner Voice matter? 

Activity 2 Statement sort (pairs) - discussion (whole group)

Input

How can we elicit the Learner Voice and facilitate learner involvement in the learning process? 

4.35 – 4.45 4.45 – 4.50

4.50 – 5.05

Activity 3 Identification of how/where the Learner Voice is evident /can be evidenced – “Post-It All Over”

So What? What do we do now that we have evidence of Learner Voice? How can we use it? How can we measure its impact?

5.05 – 5.20


Activity 4 What are we looking for?

Input Is it measurable?

Plenary

5.20 – 5.30

Activities 1. A Discussion Carousel – This will start with a paired discussion between Creative Practitioners and teachers (as far s numbers allow this) to consider what, for them, constitutes “Learner Voice”. A structured discussion will then follow, in which participants are issued with statements on the theme of “your views” and discuss their statement with a partner. Participants are stood in 2 concentric circles (one inner circle, facing outwards, inside a second circle of people facing inwards). After a short period the discussions are halted and one circle rotates with their statement and begins a discussion with a new partner. Again the discussion is halted after a short time (dependent on how well discussions seem to be going), the statements are then passed to their partner (to make sure that no-one has the same statement for a 3rd consecutive time), and then the circle rotates again. All participants are talking, there is a hubbub of noise, but no individual is singled out and focussed on by whole group. This encourages greater confidence and increased likelihood of participation – and is therefore an inclusive strategy to elicit learner voice. Statements can be adapted to suit any particular focus – whether that reflects the content of a particular learning session, or the style of the learning that has been taking place. 2. Statement Sort – Participants are put into groups (as appropriate – in this case3’s or 4’s). They then try to rank the statements according reflecting a consensus(if this can be achieved). This encouragesparticipants to listen to each others’ points of view, make decisions, negotiate and compromise, and justify a point of view. Theseskills need some degree of confidence as a prerequisite – which may well have been developed with the use of discussion techniques used earlier (but not when used only once!). 3. “Post-It All Over” This entails participants working in pairs, identifying where and when the learner voice can be evidenced, writing suggestions on post-it notes. After a few minutes, the post-it notes are then stuck on the wall, according to the category they are interpreted as falling into. Participants then walk past the wall of post-it notes reading each others’ ideas. Then one member of each pair selects someone else’s post-it note, and returns to their pair to discuss. This should then lead to some questionsanswer and whole group discussion opportunities. This activity is an excellent example of how learners can have their say. Essentially this is anonymous, as once stuck up, the post-it notes are not identified with any particular participant. This encouragesthe likelihood of learners inputting genuine views, as opposed to those they suspect are the desired points of view. By then considering others’ points of view, this activity exemplifies the opportunities learners need to try to begin to empathise with other learners. 4. And Now? Feedback and action are essential features of learner voice and the co-construction of learning. Learners need to feel that the processeshere are authentic – that they are genuinely listened to and where feasible, action is taken based on the learner voice. This final activity will enable participants to consider what to do with the information elicited from the learners, so that they come to see their role as vital. This activity will be a “footprint” activity in which participants identify current practice, its degree of effective implementation and gaps, which can become foci for action planning. Creative


practitioners will be able to bring their creativity to the fore by focussing on how they can enhance the flow of information from practitioner to learner and from learner to practitioner. 5. Plenary Participants will get a final opportunity to have their say, exploring what worked and what didn’t work, and why. Plenaries should be used to reinforce learning and to inform next steps. As such they are a fundamental element of the whole processof learner voice and the co-construction of learning. This plenary will use a target sheet and post-it notes to elicit participant evaluations.


Session Plan