Students’ voice – Teachers’ praxis

Year: 2015

Author: Zeegers, Yvonne, Elliot, Katrina

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Student motivation is one means of improving students’ learning outcomes. ‘Intrinsic motivation is maximised when students have some ownership and responsibility for decision making about their learning.’ (Fleming & Panizzon, 2010, p.27). Another, but connected, approach involves fostering student voice in the classroom. Activities that encourage the Intellectual stretching of minds involve reasoning, and critical and creative thinking. The generation and utilisation of students’ questions is one means of achieving this.
Implicit in these approaches is the need for teachers to pose intellectually challenging and motivational questions in the classroom. In this pilot project eight volunteer teachers from a metropolitan public school have chosen to investigate either their own questioning skills in the classroom or, to investigate how to encourage their students to ask intellectually stretching questions that lead to inquiry-based investigations. The project is based in a junior primary – primary setting and is neither year level, discipline, nor age group specific. This presentation will discuss initial findings about the ways in which the teachers encourage a culture of question asking that intellectually stretches the learners’ minds. Interestingly, the teachers found it difficult to separate the importance of, and a focus on their own questioning skills, from that of their students’.