Every way of thinking is both premised on and generative of a way of naming that reflects particular underlying convictions. Over the last 15 years, a way of thinking has reemerged that strives to reposition students in educational research and reform. Best documented in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States, this way of thinking is premised on the following convictions: that young people have unique perspectives on learning, teaching, and schooling; that their insights warrant not only the attention but also the responses of adults; and that they should be afforded opportunities to actively shape their education. Although these convictions mean different things to different people and take different forms in practice, a single term has emerged to capture a range of activities that strive to reposition students in educational research and reform: "student voice." In this discussion the author explores the emergence of the term "student voice," identifies underlying premises signaled by two particular words associated with the term, "rights" and " respect," and explores the many meanings of a word that surfaces repeatedly across discussions of student voice efforts but refers to a wide range of practices: "listening." The author offers this discussion not as an exhaustive or definitive analysis but rather with the goal of looking across discussions of work that advocates, enacts, and critically analyzes the term "student voice."
The definitive version is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-873X.2006.00363.x.
Cook-Sather, Alison. "Sound, Presence, and Power: 'Student Voice' in Educational Research and Reform." Curriculum Inquiry 36 (2006): 359-390.