Listening to parents and students

Year: 2005

Author: te Riele, Kitty, Murray, Ishbel

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Apart from some notable exceptions, educational research that investigates schooling, and in particular school reform, has excluded the voices of parents and students. The resources required to communicate with parents are beyond the scope and schedules of many research projects. And, perhaps more significantly, parents and students are frequently perceived as consumers of education rather than co-producers, and therefore unlikely to be included in research. This paper describes the attempts being made in the Changing Schools, Changing Times project to include those infrequently heard voices of both parents and students. We argue that their voices contribute invaluable perspectives vital to understanding the processes of teaching, learning, and change in any school, and particularly in schools serving marginalised communities. The approaches adopted for communicating with parents and students, as well as some insights from our initial conversations will be described.