by Eric Hill, Professional Development Specialist
Learner Voice is crucial to making the shift to learner centered practice. When learners have opportunities to share their perspectives, participate in decision making, set goals, and take ownership of their progress, their overall commitment to and confidence in learning grows. Giving learners voice allows them to fully participate and drive their own learning.
Voice can take place in a variety of forms and shouldn’t be limited to those who demonstrate leadership qualities or reserved for our highest achieving learners. In fact, it can be argued that Learner Voice is most impactful and empowering for our struggling learners. Creating frequent opportunities to support and develop Learner Voice for ALL will make learners feel more connected to the classroom community, develop a sense of pride and responsibility for the classroom culture, and open up opportunities for broader and more diverse perspectives to be heard.
As educators continue on their journey toward making the shift from educator centered paradigms to learner centered frameworks, Learner Voice should (and must) become an essential element of the classroom culture. A model for what this transformation looks like for the educator and the parallel transformation for the learner can be seen below.
When learners have opportunities to share their perspectives, participate in decision making, set goals, and take ownership of their progress, their overall commitment to and confidence in learning grows. There are few things that are more empowering and impactful for both the educator and the learner than creating a classroom culture that develops, honors, and grows Learner Voice.
To see how the Institute for Personalized Learning infuses Learner Voice through the Youth Advisory Council, view this video.
How can you take one small step toward making this shift in your own practice? Let’s hear your voice in the comments below!