What Are We Missing?

What Are We Missing?

Tina Wagle (Empire State College (SUNY), USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9108-5.ch010

Abstract

“Silenced voices” is an oft-used metaphorical term for marginalized and oppressed peoples. It pervades studies and literature related to important issues of social justice. However, recent research has prompted a literal reconceptualization of the term, raising the question: Are we aware and attentive to voices that are silent and not silenced? This reflective piece is a call to attention that best practices result from empirically based results of studies but on a population of students that attend school on a regular basis. As we know, this population is limited, so this chapter draws attention to limitations of data from researchers who have restrictions to certain populations, including minors.
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Literature Review

Educational research includes research, findings, and policy research, implementation and analysis. Such research depends on the systematic gathering of the ideas, the experiences, and the realities of those involved in the schools. However, often missing in any step of the research processes are student voices and perspectives. Since 1995, Yvonna Lincoln has been asking the questions of where the student voice belongs in educational research and how do we get it there. In her article, “How Listening to Student Voices Informs and Strengthens Social Justice Research and Practice,” Mansfield (2014) summarizes that “the student voice literature argues that including and honoring students’ perspectives yields richer, more authentic research results as well as more democratic learning space that fosters positive student outcomes” (p. 393). There is value in adding the student voice in educational research to help prepare a holistic picture of the transpirations inside schooling and to promote advocacy. Julie Macleod (2011) adds,

While there has been a robust critique of some of the limitations and dilemmas associated with the concept and practice of student voice, in school-based projects voice is typically seen as powerful, a force that needs to be released and harnessed and as having a radical potential for transformative practice. (p. 182)

The research undertaken that inspired this chapter was, in fact, a school-based project.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Silenced: Not heard due to an intentional or unintentional act of keeping one quiet.

Access: Being able to reach a target.

Limitations: Restrictions imposed intentionally or unintentionally on attaining a goal.

Voice: Someone’s ability to be heard and the noise emitted.

Clinical Educators: Those teachers in the K-12 field who contribute significantly to higher education.

Institutional Review Board: A board that reviews research protocols and processes to ensure ethics.

Missing: Absent in research, literature and school-based setting.

Chronically Absent: Being absent from school for a significant amount of days such that it hinders one’s learning.

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