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In Authorizing Students’ Perspectives: Toward Trust, Dialogue, and Change in Education, Alison Cook-Sather began with, “Since the advent of formal education in the United States, both the educational system and that system’s every reform have been premised on adults’ notions of how education should be conceptualized and practiced.” Might children have a notion?

My son and I would emphatically answer, “yes!” I am the mother of a 17-year old boy who is currently on his own in China! He is there because he has networked beyond his high school walls to organize his own interest-based itinerary and then embark upon this unique trip, where he is investigating and learning, based on what he finds personally interesting. Please know that this is not the only way to embed student voice into curriculum, yet during this student-driven learning, I have observed my “I’m not a fan of reading” son invest in reading to learn, order yet another must-have book from Amazon, write and then revise what he has learned through his research as well as a defense for this personal pursuit. I must say, I am completely intrigued by student voice in learning, as well as the impact of inviting, embracing and responding to that voice in education!

How has your voice impacted your own learning?