From the Head of the Crowther Centre – Dr Ray Swann
The Power of Voice
It was a great privilege to be able to attend a workshop with world expert Dr Russ Quaglia on student voice this week. As Dr Quaglia states, student voice is where our boys share thoughts, ideas and opinions to make realistic expectations for the good of the whole. Through this, they then accept responsibility for not only what is said, but what needs to be done.
Much of what Quaglia talks about in his research resonates strongly with our programs at BGS. In particular, the work we have done with James Kerr in the Legacy project sees the boys developing voice, finding ways to set standards and then taking positive actions towards gains. Through our service programs our boys not only see how idealism and the imagination are powerful drivers but how there needs to be a focus on the ‘doing’ too.
In the body of research, where there is high student voice, students are (a staggering) five times more likely to be academically motivated (Quaglia Institute, 2016). In our Effective Learner model, we talk about this as being ‘ready to learn.’ On reflection, and in your home, what are the ways in which you are engaging with your son and hearing his voice (in his learning)? What is the level of discussion about the ‘common good’ in the family? What role does he play? How does he talk about it with you?
Finally, I add a note that I have previously written about. It can take time for young people (and all of us, really) to find their voices. There can be challenges in knowing what to say, when, how – what is the right place, time and way? I wish you all the best in having these conversations which, if yours is like my parenting, seem to be a case of trial and error!
Parent Workshop Program – Term 1
The next Crowther Workshop is The Effective Learner at Home: Building Better Routines.
Date: Monday 25 February 2019