Children’s Voice or Children’s Voices? How Educational Research Can be at the Heart of Schooling (FORUM 1)

Author: JULIAN STERN

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Publication date: March 1, 2015

JULIAN STERN

There are problems with considering children and young people in schools as quite separate individuals, and with considering them as members of a single collectivity. The tension is represented in the use of ‘voice’ and ‘voices’ in educational debates. Voices in dialogue, in contrast to ‘children’s voice’, are important and are of more value than can be described in the term ‘democracy’. The voices of children and young people are presented, from a study of aloneness in schools. Analysis of the voices suggests they were involved in distinctively hermeneutic work, and an approach to research that generates such hermeneutics might be called a form of ‘action philosophy’. This approach to research is surprising, and it can put voicing at the very heart of schooling, within classes.

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