The August SPARK: Voice

In this SPARK, our presenters offer insights into the ways they are using the concept of voice to explore data collected with children and teachers related to inclusive decision-making and classroom practice in education.


The concept of voice spans literal, metaphorical and political terrains: In its literal sense, voice represents the speech and perspectives of the speaker; metaphorically, voice spans inflection, tone, accent, style and the qualities and feelings conveyed by the speaker; and politically, a commitment to voice attests to the right of speaking and being represented” (Britzman, 1989, p. 146).

Notwithstanding the ongoing debates around the shifting nature of voice and the processes of voice coming in to being, the concept of voice intrigues all researchers who work with human participants.

About the speakers:

Dr Jenna Gillett-Swan
Dr Jenna Gillett-Swan is a rights and wellbeing researcher whose work focuses on participatory research methods and participant voice. Her current research interests include: children as researchers, children’s rights in, to and through education, children’s voice, children’s rights in a digital world, children’s wellbeing, children’s analysis of research data, and equity considerations in pre-service teacher education.

Dr Lisa Van Leent
Dr Lisa van Leent is a senior lecturer in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership. Her research interests concern teacher support in relation to sex education, particularly in regards to diverse sexualities, and the improvement in support for LGBTIQ+ students in schools. Dr Lisa van Leent has higher education undergraduate and postgraduate teaching experience in the sociology of education, multiliteracies, digital literacies and English Curriculum. Her future research interests involve how diverse genders and sexualities are presented through ‘texts-in-use’ within a primary school context to promote critical awareness of heterosexism.

About the facilitator:

Dr Kelli McGraw
Dr Kelli McGraw is a Lecturer in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership. Currently teaching units in Secondary English curriculum, her prior experience includes teaching high school English and debating in Southwest Sydney, NSW. Kelli researches the fields of secondary school curriculum, teacher identity, digital literacy and children’s literature, presently focusing on project-based learning in the English classroom. She is the Vice President of the English Teachers Association of Queensland.


Start Date: 14/08/2018