1st Edition

Unleashing Children’s Voices in New Democratic Primary Education

Edited By James Biddulph, Luke Rolls, Julia Flutter Copyright 2023
    260 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    260 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    As the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and grapples to find ways to respond to climate change, there is growing recognition of the need to give space and time in primary schools to hear children’s experiences, ideas and perspectives on these matters and to promote their active participation in democratic solutions. This book presents vibrant examples from professional educators and researchers across the globe who are demonstrating how primary schools can nurture the conditions for new democratic education through empowering educators’ and children’s voices and agency.

    Written as a genuine partnership between research experts and experienced classroom teachers, the book delves into historic and contemporary theories and evidence about the children’s voices movement, and new democratic education, helping to root teachers’ practices to strong educational theoretical concepts. The second section presents a set of diverse and detailed examples drawn from primary classrooms and schools that illustrate how these ideas are taking shape in teaching and learning across the world; chapters will bring to life the principles upon which schools have empowered young voices, sharing examples of success and thriving students. Finally, a set of thought-provoking manifestos will offer new opportunities and fresh theories for educators to explore, with the purpose and intention to take forward in their own primary school contexts.

    This is a vital resource for any new or experienced teacher or school leader looking to take research-informed and principled approaches to changes in schools so that teaching and learning ignites the social imagination for 21st-century educators and learners.

    River map: Introducing the book’s structure

    1. Children’s voices: the river’s source

    Maryam Zahra McLachlan, Julius Goldie, Christopher Kasanga

    Section A. Children’s Voices Found

    2. Raising voices: Journeying towards a new democratic education

    James Biddulph and Julia Flutter with Alison Peacock

    3. Enabling parity of participation by listening to ‘pupil voice’

    Luke Rolls and Eleanore Hargreaves

    4. Wilful strangers in a possible democracy

    James Biddulph and John Baldacchino

    Section B. Children’s Voices Heard

    5. Fake news: Is developing critical literacies a waste of time?

    Laura Kerslake, Ellen Millar and Elena Natale

    6. An education for democracy: empowering agency and community in a Czech school  

    Jana Chocholatá and Gabriela Oaklandová

    7. Voices from a distance: learning from pupils’ experiences of online teaching to ensure

    educational continuity 

    Nicolas Duval-Valachs, Pascale Haag and Marlène Martin 

    8. Schools as embryonic societies: Introducing elements of democratic education

    in everyday school life  

    Benedict Kurz, Jan Wilhelm Dieckmann, Nicole Freke and Christian Timo Zenke

    9. Citizenship education as a relational practice: Inclusion and participation of young citizens based on the example of 1:1 mentoring

    Sarah Straub

    10. Building cultural literacy through dialogue: democracy at the heart of learning 

    Victoria Cook, Fiona Maine, Laura Fozzard and Beci McCaughran 

    11. From polite agreement to passionate uncertainty: 'turning towards difference' in

    Philosophy for Children (P4C) Lessons

    Robert Drane and Rupert Higham

    Section C. Children’s Voices Unleashed

    12. Votes for children!

    David Runciman

    13. Children unlocking/unleashing their voices during and beyond a national lockdown

    Aimee Durning 

    14. Reinforcing the pipeline of citizenry: how high school students create platforms for

    elementary and middle school students’ voices in Kentucky, United States 

    Samantha E. Holquist, Connor Flick, Spandana Pavuluri, Sanaa Kahloon and Laney Taylor 

    15. The ADVOST project: Facilitating voice and agency in the early years classroom 

    Paula Ayliffe, Helen Bartle, Pippa Joyce, Kyrstie Stubbs, Susan Atkinson and Mhairi

    C. Beaton 

    16. The Superpower of the Child: A movement for student agency from Riverside School, India

    Julia Flutter with Kiran Bir Sethi

    17. Voice, Agency, and Power in the Classroom

    Jenna Gillett-Swan and Adam Brodie-McKenzie 


    Learning to live together  

    Andreas Schleicher


    Children’s voices: Becomings

    Aaron Mitchell and Malavika Nair, introduced by Julia Flutter and James Biddulph

    River map: Logging your journey


    James Biddulph is the Executive Headteacher of the University of Cambridge Primary School. He completed his PhD at Cambridge University. He was the inaugural Headteacher of Avanti Court Primary in East London. He completed two Master's, one in Music and one in Educational Research during this time. Early on in his career, he was awarded Outstanding New Teacher of the Year and gained Advanced Skills Teacher status. He has lived and worked in Nepal and India.

    Luke Rolls is the Associate Headteacher at the University of Cambridge Primary School. Luke is a successful primary educator with a Master's degree in Teaching and a postgraduate degree in primary mathematics. His main area of interest is in developing curriculum, pedagogy and assessment through high-quality professional development as an entitlement for all teachers.

    Julia Flutter worked in education research for three decades at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, where she has focused on collaborative approaches for improving classroom teaching. She was a director of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust, a not-for-profit organisation promoting excellence in primary education, and an Associate Editor for the internationally respected Cambridge Journal of Education. She was a contributing author and sub-editor to the Cambridge Primary Review final report, Children, Their World, Their Education (edited by Professor Robin Alexander and published by Routledge, 2010).