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Expert: Giving Students a Voice in Hiring Teachers 'Makes Sense'

Expert: Giving Students a Voice in Hiring Teachers 'Makes Sense'

Should students have a voice when it comes to choosing their teachers? One education expert believes so.

Student panels, "are now a well-established tool in teacher recruitment, but that hasn’t stopped them from remaining controversial. But despite misgivings among some teachers, giving students a voice in hiring teachers is common sense," wrote Nick Morrison, education expert, in an article on Forbes.com.

"The arrival of pupil panels is part of a wider movement towards giving students a greater say in their education," he wrote. "Often called Student Voice, its primary expressions is usually through giving pupil councils a role in decision-making in a school. But by far the most contentious element of Student Voice is using pupils in the recruitment process. Typically, this takes the form of a pupil panel interviewing prospective teachers and then giving a view on who should get the job."

According to Morrison, "for some teachers, even those who believe pupils should have an input into how schools are run, this is a step too far."

"Student panels are accused of asking frivolous questions," he wrote. "Some believe it is demeaning to subject adults to the judgement of children. Some believe such panels become an exercise in which candidate is most sincere in pledging to offer homework. These views may not be held by the majority, but deriding student panels is guaranteed to bring a cheer at teacher union conferences."

Morrison said that "pupil panels should play a key role in hiring teachers."

"Teachers have to be able to relate to students, and this is fundamentally what student panels are testing," he continued. "Some panels ask frivolous questions, but dealing with frivolous questions is part and parcel of being a teacher."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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