Listening for the Wisdom of Young People: Charlie Kouns at TEDxKatuah (by TEDxTalks)
Last schools thought of 2012, before I switch my brain to ‘reading stacks of novels’ mode for the next week and a half.
The above is an interesting sounding initiative - but even if you don’t watch the full video, the ball game story at the start is a good reminder why student voice (done right!) is important. Particularly when there is as much contention in the system as there is in the UK right now. A small shout out for a number of exciting pieces of work:
First, the Harris Student Commission on Learning, a research and development project that brought together hundreds of students and teachers to create a new design for learning across the Harris academy chain. It has now published its design for learning, but for me it’s the process - the trust and step change in the relationship between students and teachers it would likely have required - that is most interesting.
Second (and even more recent), is Questions For Change - StudentVoice’s new schools audit tool, which places equal weighting on the perceptions of students, teachers, parents, and school governors. StudentVoice is a representative body for Secondary students, supporting students to become involved in decision making within their schools (as the main stakeholders in their education) - and developing the skills and values they need to speak up as citizens outside of school. For this alone it deserves highlighting, but I think the audit tool findings are going to prove fascinating - in its early stages right now, but well worth emailing for more information if interested.
The third and final piece of work I want to point to is a Primary aged example from PHF’s Learning Away initiative: the Walney cluster in Barrow-in-Furness and their primary-to-secondary transition work. KS2 students from across a group of local primary schools work together to identify what characteristics and skills they think they and their peers will need to better manage their own transition to secondary school. Then they are supported to plan a residential to develop these qualities. The way this is managed is particularly exciting. A bit about their broader project here, and a case study about the transition work here.
If anyone has any good examples, I’d also love to hear about means of developing democratic structures lower down in Primary schools.
Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a photo announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.
This weekend’s tag was #WHPmotels, which asked participants to capture photographs of motor hotels, or motels, in honor of the first motel opening 87 years ago in San Luis Obispo, California. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.
^ This ^ reminds me of a lovely book I found on a stall once: Cheap Hotels, by Daisann McLane:
No hotel room has yet changed my life, but many of them have made me, unexpectedly and inexplicably, happy.
A fond collection of memories and photographs of quirky, inexpensive hotels around the world. You can read a lovely extract on the publisher’s website, here.
Although McClane seems perplexed by the uniformity of US motels, I will be forever both oddly attracted and repulsed - after three months spent living and working in a small tourist town in Michigan, staying in the cheapest motel I could find. “Motel smell” is the smell of America to me after that brief, limited experience!