While the Student Voice agenda gathers momentum in all sectors of education in the United Kingdom so too does the degree to which 'Student Voice' comes under the critical gaze of national and international commentators who narrate its influence on policy as each successive government in the UK shapes the agenda as they see fit. The Student Voice movement continues to grow and influence discussion across all levels of education. Equally, international responses to Student Voice extend the debate and movement further. To acknowledge international and UK perspectives, the authors have developed an edited collection speaking to both the practitioner and the academic alike. The text offers diverse perspectives with contributions from internationally acclaimed researchers, academics, classroom practitioners and learners across a variety of ages and educational sectors both at local and international levels. This topical text locates Student Voice within wider current debates around empowered citizenry and the 'big society'. The contributions draw upon the relationships between Student Voice and action research, citizenship, democratic education and students-as-researchers as well as locating these debates within international perspectives. It is through the combination of these perspectives that, as the title of the book suggests, the Student Voice movement can hope to 'bridge the academic/practitioner divide'.
Journal of Education for Teaching: International research and pedagogy. Caroline Bath, Sheffield Hallam University
Incorporating theory to practice, the book is skillfully structured to develop a rationale for consultation with students.
Fundamentally, it is the bridging of the academic/ practitioner divide that constitutes the book's main thesis and its consequent link with action research and, even more interestingly, the themes of trust and the ethics of care. The authors do not claim that student voice work is easy in the current context but they do provide a comprehensive guide to thinking through and undertaking such work in an ethical and logical manner.
Management in Education. Helen Gunter, University of Manchester
This is a dauntingly exciting book. As a handbook it is just under 500 pages, and is packed with so many great chapters with authors that I want to read in ways that is un-put-down-able.
In my view the book needs to be on the shelf of staff rooms and offices in all phases of education, and should be on reading lists for professional training and development. What is important about this book is that it won't give people answers and it does not provide recipes but it does incite us to think and to develop pedagogy.
I realise that having done a brilliant and exhausting job in commissioning the chapters and putting this Handbook together the editors may think their work is done... but it has only just started.
The international and comparative nature of the book will appeal to a global audience whose interests lie within the fields of teacher education and training as well as schooling in general. The book is ideal for those in the United Kingdom studying to become teachers on Secondary PGCE, PGDE and GTP courses leading to QTS, those studying for the post-compulsory sector PTLLS, DTLLS and CTLLS qualifications and those doing Overseas Teacher Training and Teach First courses.
The book will also appeal to policy makers and academics; teachers, teacher educators; and other learners in schools, Further Education and Higher Education, as well as a wide range of Postgraduate programmes including masters and doctoral level studies. In this sense the book is a one-stop-shop for practitioners and researchers who wish to carry out action research on any theme related to Student Voice.
To find out more about the editors, please see their profiles below:
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1. What is student voice?
2. The importance of the student voice movement
3. How is the book structured?
4. Who would read the book and why
5. Bridging the academic practitioner divide