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Exploitation of ‘student voice’ can be damaging

Many colleges are misunderstanding what it means to give students a say in their learning. At worst, it is outright manipulation, says Christina Donovan

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It is easy to assume that student voice is all about praise and competition if you have an education system that bases its existence on exactly those things.

If you are one of those teachers who feels rubbish because you didn’t receive the “best teacher” postcard (or whichever tokenistic “student voice” initiative your institution favours) on the one day that students can have their say, then maybe, for a moment, think of the poorest-performing students in your class. How do they feel, every day?

We put students in competition with each other all the time and think nothing of it. It can be of ...

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