Marginalised students and insider knowledge

Bland , Derek (2011) Marginalised students and insider knowledge. In Czerniawski, Gerry & Kidd, Warren (Eds.) The Student Voice Handbook : Bridging the Academic/Practitioner Divide. Emerald Group Publishing Ltd, Biggleswade.

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One of the claims made for valuing the voices of marginalised students is that an insider perspective can be revealed on student issues and the ways in which education policies and systems impact on them. This chapter examines the ways in which participants in an Australian ‘students-as-researchers’ (SaR) project were able to raise knowledge of and address, to some extent, long-standing issues of racism in their schools. The SaR project has operated in more than thirty schools for periods of one to five years. Based on a participatory action research model, groups of secondary school students from schools serving socio-economically disadvantaged communities have worked with nominated teachers and university researchers to identify and research local issues relating to low academic outcomes and to develop and enact responses to the identified concerns.

The voices of marginalised students quoted in this chapter illustrate that important insider knowledge can be revealed through the SaR process. Where student views have been acknowledged and acted on by the schools, significant change to student-teacher relationships and school culture has been achieved; the participants have been personally empowered and academic improvements across the schools have been noted. For such change to occur, however, a culture of mutual respect must be created in which teachers and school administrators value students’ views and are open to the possibility of unfavourable criticism.

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ID Code: 46389
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Students-as-researchers, educational disadvantage, school improvement, participatory action research, racism
ISBN: 9781780520407
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2011 23:27
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2016 15:45

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