By: Kelli Fredlund, Kelly Gibson, Chrisa Farrell and Chantelle Balicki
Our project is designed to assist middle years teachers (Grades 6-9 homerooms) and administrators to learn more about how they can create space for student voice in an effort to improve sense of belonging in their school learning communities. Our research is student-driven, where our
students will provide direction through weekly or bi-weekly student voice opportunities regarding what they feel is having an impact on sense of belonging in their learning community and ideas they would like to pursue that might address this.
In response to student voice, our teacher researchers will meet monthly through an Action Research model (Mertler, 2012), alongside school Elders and teacher guest advisors from our secondary collegiates who have successfully implemented student voice opportunities in their home schools. The purpose of these meetings will be to conduct some pre-analysis, so it data can be put in a usable format for student discussion and response, and to plan for the appropriate discursive strategies and learning opportunities that might bring student voice forward in the most equitable ways to bring about change and sense of belonging in their classroom communities.
We feel this project will not only have a positive impact on relationships and sense of belonging in our middle years learning community, but could also have a wider impact for other schools who would like to try our model or build upon it for improvement.