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Responding to diversity by engaging with students’ voices: a strategy for teacher development
Start date: Nov 1, 2011,

This project will develop and disseminate an approach to in-service teacher development that addresses one of the biggest challenges facing schools across Europe, that of responding to learner diversity. Building on earlier work carried out by members of the project team, it will be based on the following propositions:1. Evidence collected within a school create spaces for reappraisal and rethinking by interrupting existing discourses, and by focusing attention on overlooked possibilities for moving practice forward. 2. Such approaches provide interruptions that help to make the familiar unfamiliar in ways that stimulate self-questioning, creativity and action. 3. The views of students about teaching and learning arrangements within a school are the most powerful form of interruption.4. Differences of view amongst students (and staff) are a catalyst for change.The project will involve two cycles of collaborative action research carried out by teams of teachers in three countries. External researchers will monitor these developments in order to identify ways in which processes used have led to changes in thinking and the introduction of more inclusive practices amongst teachers. The evidence collected will provide the basis of the following outputs:· A manual that provides guidance as to how student voice can be used to foster the development of inclusive practices amongst teachers; · Case study accounts illustrating the use of the approach in secondary schools in three countries; and · A series of publications aimed at academic and practitioner audiences that provide explanations of the strategies developed through the work of the project schools.It is anticipated that the project will have a direct impact on the participation and achievement of vulnerable groups of students within the participating schools, whilst at the same time generating recommendations and materials that will be relevant to teachers in other contexts.
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