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Students as co-contributors to education design (new NZCER report)

April 19th, 2010

Another NZCER report has just gone online: It’s called Better than a professional? Students as co-contributors to educational design

This report concerns a sub-project of NZCER’s Families and Communities Engagement (FACE) project which is investigating ideas and practices involved in bringing together teachers, families, local communities and students to contribute to collective conversations and decisions about education.

We aimed to develop and research a process to engage small groups of secondary students in becoming critical and informed contributors to curriculum and education design, and developed workshops to support small groups of students (mostly in Years 9 and 10) in two girls’ schools to undertake small-scale research on their own and/or others’ views and experiences about learning and school. When given the opportunity to discuss big-picture curriculum ideas and undertake critical close readings of The New Zealand Curriculum, students could begin to articulate how these did or did not match their own experiences or those of others, including their fellow students, teachers and their family members. Students also recognised some of the key dilemmas that educators and policy makers grapple with.  Students in both schools presented their findings at a range of forums, where students could also discuss their views, answer questions and pose suggestions to teachers and school leaders, family members and other students.

The report describes what we, the students, and school leaders/key staff learned through this process. I welcome you to download the full report if you are interested, and I will endeavour to get some more blogpostings up about some of the ideas connected to this piece of research that we can all discuss!

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