“Student voice” — yeah but what do you mean?

I posted something recently about learner agency. I pointed out this was synonymous with another more commonly used edu-lingo phrase: student voice.

Perhaps student voice always intended to be learner agency. That is really what we mean, right? The phrase student voice is both narrow in who it references and kind of illogical in terms of what it means.

Student voice has had a rocky ride since the mid 1900s

First of all, in most places students are not the only learners. We need to get better at following the same rules about great learning for big and small people.

Secondly when someone voices something it needs to be heard. Which depends on someone else, which would mean students depend on others. This is close to the definition of proxy agency, perhaps the weakest of the three agency musketeers we can define.

Maybe I am splitting hairs a little on this but it is an interesting observation, and I know how important a common language is in any organisation.