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The radical potential of student voice: Creating spaces for restless encounters

Keywords: student voice , student as researchers , emancipatory research , person-centred education

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This paper starts by sketching out some of the developments in research partnerships between adults and young people within the context of formal schooling in the last twenty years and then briefly touches on some of the critiques of such work, underlining the role of values and political perspectives. The third section argues for a particular - person-centred - standpoint resting on a relational, communal view of the self that puts certain kinds of relationships at the heart of education and schooling in general, and student voice partnerships in particular. Finally, the author argues for the importance of creating spaces for restless encounters between adults and young people in which they are able to re-see and re-engage with each other in creative, holistic and potentially transformational ways. In taking this forward, the much neglected and derided radical traditions of state education offer us an important resource.


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