Building Trust and Empathy: Student Voice and Teachers’ Professional Development With Technology

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Morris, D. 2018. Building Trust and Empathy: Student Voice and Teachers’ Professional Development With Technology. Research in Teacher Education. 8 (1), pp. 6-11. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.88yx0
AuthorsMorris, D.
Abstract

This article reflects on the importance of trust between pupils and teachers in student voice initiatives and how cultivating ‘authentic’ trust can lead to a heightened empathy between students and teachers. The research findings presented here stem from doctoral fieldwork carried out in an English secondary school. The study – known as the ‘Teach a Teacher’ project – involved Year 8 pupils (12- to 13-year-olds) providing professional development in information and communication technology (ICT) for their teachers. Data were gathered through observations of teachers and pupils working together, focus groups with pupils, and one-to-one interviews with the teachers involved. This article does not have the scope to explore the school environment or the climate and conditions needed to organise student–teacher partnerships or the role that school leadership plays in supporting these. Rather this article seeks to identify how students as joint authors of ‘emancipatory’ practice were involved in providing their teachers with professional development with their computer skills and therefore actively involved in bringing about change (Fielding 2001, 2011). The findings presented in this article demonstrate that when pupils are entrusted by teachers to take charge of their professional learning, there is a transformation in teacher–pupil relationships. There was wide acceptance of the role reversal this involved, with teachers seeing it as a positive experience in terms of learning from their students. Pupils gained a new perspective and insight into what the job of teaching entails. In this way, the project led to feelings of understanding, empathy and respect from the pupils.

JournalResearch in Teacher Education
Journal citation8 (1), pp. 6-11
ISSN2046-1240
2047-3818
Year2018
PublisherThe School of Education and Communities, University of East London
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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.88yx0
Publication dates
OnlineMay 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Feb 2021
Copyright holder© 2018 The Author
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