Student voice in professional inquiry

In these videos students and teachers at Pakuranga College describe how being involved in professional inquiry together has made a difference to their experience of learning and teaching.

Authentic engagement

Teachers at Pakuranga College have been developing their professional inquiry approach to authentically engage with students about their learning.

Their experience shows that when teachers and students discuss learning, they take joint responsibility for improving it.

The students report:

  • more ownership of their learning – they become more engaged and involved
  • a stronger relationship with their teacher and peers
  • growing agency and self belief
  • understanding themselves as learners and applying what they have learned to succeed.

Inquiring together, learning together



"We see this collaborative inquiry and teachers working with students collaboratively really does invest teachers and students in each other’s learning."

Year 10 science


"The thing I didn’t realise is that by [the teacher] asking us our student opinion, you feel more secure with yourself."

Year 12 statistics


"We created a safe environment where we [students and teacher] can both get what we want but not override one another."

Related pages

For more on professional learning at Pakuranga College read:

Pakuranga College: Leading learning

Pakuranga College: Organising for PLD

Related links 

These NZ articles explore the role of student voice in learning:

Engaging student voice in teachers’ inquiries

Martyn Davison, Claire Sinnema, Alison Taylor, and Vaughan Mitchell. Set 2016: no. 1. NZCER

This article describes how two secondary school teachers engage with students’ voices as they inquire into their teaching practice. 

The power of student voice – scroll down to fellowship reports

Maree Bathurst. 2013. Auckland Primary Principals Association website

In this APPA travelling scholarship report, the writer uses three dimensions – learning, democratic and ethnic voice – to organise concepts linked with the term student voice.

Making sense of learning at secondary school 

Ruth G Kane and Chris Chimwayange. 2006. Teaching and learning research initiative website

This teacher action research found that teachers and students gained a sense of empowerment as they deepened their relationships and negotiated new roles as partners making sense of learning in their classrooms. 

Tags: Professional inquiry

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