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The Value of a Student’s Voice

How the student’s voices are a part of the classroom culture

The opportunity to talk within some classrooms may be neglected. Student engagement can be based upon the classroom environment. The more we shift education online, the more we must be intentional about allowing students to socialize. This article discusses why it is essential to let a students’ voice be heard within the classroom and how to build deliberate engagement, all while promoting a healthy classroom culture.

Involving Student voices in the classroom

It is crucial to foster an atmosphere where students feel their voice matters. Involving students’ voices within the classroom provides them with opportunities they may not have known about. Allowing student voices to be heard demonstrates that the classroom is a safe space where they can speak up and share their ideas, whether related to the class content or style of teaching. A safe space for student voices is where they can openly discuss the class topic and ask questions while not feeling afraid of being wrong. Student voices are those that participate. Not only does this improve student involvement with the course material, but it also creates a forum for discussion, idea sharing, and debate. There are plenty of benefits from student voices. The classroom benefits do not just stop at student-to-student engagement. Students can confide in professors when having trouble within the classroom by utilizing office hours. This atmosphere gives students a way to voice their ideas and needs. It can give them the opportunity to discuss their understanding of the class content, letting the professor know the student’s progression within the class. These could all be the results of letting students’ voices be heard.

Building classroom culture

Allowing students to talk with one another is one way of strengthening classroom culture. Classroom culture is built upon and established. Students need to find it appropriate within the classroom to talk to one another. With the professor’s help, they can guide students in discussions until it becomes natural for students to speak to one another without assistance. Classroom culture is not only about oral skills and engagement. It is also about listening skills. Listening to your peers is crucial. It can be the cause of avoiding disagreements and misunderstandings.

Disengaging by listening

Students should be allowed to discuss the content to demonstrate their grasp since constant listening can disengage them. A listening student can quickly become a bored student. Students’ disengagement allows them to turn to their technology during class to ease boredom. The content of the class may not be boring, but instead, it is the class. It becomes a vicious cycle. To break this vicious cycle, let students talk. Discussions assist students in focusing on the content, engaging and testing their understanding

Higher retention in the classroom

Creating genuine engagement within the classroom are moments that students remember. Students have plenty of ways to let their voices be heard and start engaging. There are more options than peer-to-peer. Students can talk in a group setting, to the professor, or even when presenting in front of the class. They will remember information when having to speak publicly, compared to being tested or quizzed on the content. Group projects can be a great way to engage students in the content that is not just the professor lecturing. Group projects also allow students to socialize while working on class content. Another opportunity for professors to engage their students is the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom is based on engagement during class instead of lectures, where students can often become disengaged. Education is more than gaining knowledge. It is also about the community and connections you build along the way. If it were just knowledge people needed, it would be easier to turn to google. The purpose of education is not about cramming in knowledge. It should be about raising people within the community. A way to involve students within this community would be to let their voices be heard. Students may be hesitant to speak up in class. With the right opportunities, communities, and culture, these students who had previously stayed quiet in class will jump at the option to share their ideas. Students feel more inclined to participate when the class atmosphere is welcoming and non-discouraging.

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