Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Student driven research

I have just read the article, student driven research and found it so motivating I wish I had a class to have a go at the process. I recommend you read the article.

In NZ with our new curriculum, student voice is an important element. Most schools are dabbling with or immersed in inquiry learning and teachers are using 'teaching as inquiry' to look at their own practice. This article on student driven research is combining the two together.

Students are taking part in inquiry learning looking at elements of their world of importance to them. A lot of the time the focus of these inquiries in schools I have visited is global: looking after the environment, looking after themselves etc. This article suggests the students look at what really affects them, with the support of the school and dedicated teachers. What about running an inquiry about how the school supports (or otherwise) their learning? What about the assessment procedures of the school? The way teachers interact with students? The work load and expectations? These are the types of questions students in the article conducted authentic research projects around. Students were led through the entire process, including ethics and how to evaluate the data. Students then presented their findings to staff as a part of the staff PD programme, which informed staff reflections.

This article was an eye opener for me and I highly recommend it.

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