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My voice?

Owl's picture

In her piece, Alison Cook-Sather references Khamler (2003) and Gilbert (1989) who suggest that the term "student voice" might not be the appropriate term to use in reference to the "desire for student engagement,
communication, and personal knowing". They argue, that in terms of writing as a medium by which a student "voices" their perspectives and opinions, the metaphor conflates the writer with the text and "'is regarded as a ‘transparent medium through which the “person behind the text” can be seen’." At first, I was not sure why it would be problematic that I or any student be "seen" via our writing, afterall, it is our writing, and we choose the words we put onto paper. Then, I came to the realization that the reason why it is crucial that we learn NOT to conflate the writer and the text, is because, sometimes what we write doesn't necessarily voice a representation of our essence and our "personal knowing", but rather voices what we feel is appropriate in a given situation or environement. For example, take the classroom setting. For many students, including some in our class, voicing our opinion usually means voicing an opinion you know others will approve of.  Furthermore, if we obscure the differences between the writer and text, we automatically assume that we can somehow "understand" who a person is by what they write or say. To the contary, an individual can never really "understand" or know what it is to be another person simply by reading or hearing it. We may become aware of something we neglected to see before, but awareness is not synomous to experience. 

For your musical enjoyment, I would like to leave you with a song I think some of you may relate to. It is a song that was written by the artist in her college years. I think it fits well with my post in that it describes the trouble with individual expression of voice.