By Mrs Nikki Grauman
Head of Academic Care ELC to Year 6
When educators and parents give children a voice, we are telling them that we value their thinking, their experiences, knowledge and input. Studies support the notion that increasing the autonomy and power that students have in their learning environment and providing them with increased student agency, helps students direct and take responsibility for their actions and their learning and creates greater independence and more self-regulated learning.
If we look at Masada’s classrooms, we see the rich and diverse population within. We believe that giving each student a voice, allowing them to become agents in their learning and to own their thinking generates greater collaboration and more meaningful and genuine interactions. Drawing on students’ individual and unique experiences and backgrounds brings a different perspective to the learning environment.
To this end, Masada aims at building a culture where students and their teachers work together towards common goals. Their voices are seen as authentic opportunities to collaborate, influence change and ultimately improve the educational outcomes and experiences at our College.
Furthermore, Masada College aims at embracing and validating student agency, voice and leadership and promoting independence, self-motivation, self-regulation and interdependence skills. This means the teaching staff provide effective and fair feedback as well as making necessary adjustments to the learning opportunities, content and the delivery that in turn allows time for reflection on the learning and resulting in the need of every student being addressed. We believe that when we give students a voice, we increase their leadership potential – a potential that is inherent within all learners.
I encourage us all to take the time to hear our children speak. Give them the freedom (within reason) to talk, to ask questions and to share their worlds: their ideas, worries, their excitement and their connections. We may be pleasantly surprised by what they have to say.