Action-Research in the Student Voice Perspective: the Fourth Year Upper Secondary School Class Case

Rosanna Tammaro, Marika Calenda, Annamaria Petolicchio, Iolanda Sara Iannotta

Abstract


This paper describes a study that is currently being carried out in an Upper Secondary School in the Province of Salerno (Campania, Italy). Using the Student Voice approach, the research group of the University of Salerno started the study with the aim of spreading the culture of participation and the active involvement of students in school life, while also strengthening their role as active decision-makers in the teaching/learning processes. This research is divided into two stages: an exploratory phase, that is currently being carried out and interests only one fourth year class of a Second Level College of Science: we define this phase our pilot study. Subsequently, based on critical situation and results of the first phase, the aim is to include a larger number of students. The pilot study involves 22 students of a fourth year class and deals with the problems of inattention and lack of interest that, in general, students demonstrate towards school activities. The main purposes of this first phase are: to gather information and to analyse the reasons for this recurring behavior; to implement, with the Student Voice approach, resolved strategies, as well as, verify their effectiveness; and based on this study’s results, we want to involve a larger number of students, if possible, during the next school year (2016/2017). The aim is to establish a different relationship with students, promoting dialogue and debate with teachers, to bring out their points of view, their wishes, the expectations they have towards the school, in order to integrate their concerns in the decisions which affect them. The approach used in this study is qualitative-hermeneutic; an Italian schoolteacher that is co-author of this paper, with the support of the research group, carried out the Action-Research; the data are the result of the observations, group discussions and comparisons. First, a questionnaire was developed to find initial information regarding the students’ opinion about the use of technologies for didactic activities, suggestions and preferences on learning. Subsequently, a qualitative data analysis was carried out, useful to achieve new information for research continuance, specifically to construct the instrument that will be used in the second phase.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jet.v3i2.9479

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