How do we work with power, silence and inclusion in our schools?

As educational practitioners, how do we work with power, silence and inclusion in our schools?

I work as a psychologist in schools. Some time back, I had an interesting conversation with a secondary school teacher. We had sat down to discuss a young person he was concerned about; after some talking, he paused and looked at me, and then began to tell me about what he saw as the bigger picture. He talked into the relentless pressures in school on both students and school staff in pursuit of academic achievement, the time pressures associated with working with special educational needs – the form filing, the battling with others, the need for regular often emotionally charged meetings with young people and their families – and what seems like an ever-changing educational policy context.

Encounters like this, where a practitioner offers a deeper insight about their work, often lead me to reflect on how to best support teachers/schools. In my experience, Action Research offers a genuine opportunity to develop practices that support teachers to explore the spaces between policy, theory and action. This article tells the story of a cooperative inquiry approach to support and develop person-centred practice across one English secondary school. The cooperative inquiry group asked questions of and listened carefully to each other as we engaged in and developed practice. We looked to engaged others in school on our journey – which was no easy feat. We found that at a time of heightened pressure and change in the English educational system, educational practitioners can better shape their future when they are able to take ownership of their own professional development and are afforded the time to engage in reflection

Blog post by Jo Greenwood

We invite you to learn more about this experience by reading our article HERE. Free 30-day access is available for this article beginning November, 2017.

After you’ve had a chance to read this piece, please share your thoughts, ideas, or experiences with our community in the comments below so we can continue this discussion!