The use of a diamond ranking and peer interviews to capture pupils' perspectives

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In the new national core curriculum for Finnish preschool and basic education, rationales for supporting pupil participation are framed by the goal of developing school communities by listening to pupils’ perspectives, the social nature of teaching and learning and pupils’ participatory role in planning, implementing and evaluating their own learning. Also in educational literature, listening to pupils’ perspectives is seen as the first step of participation. Framed by these rationales, this article is based on a 6-week-long participatory learning project in one second-grade classroom in Finland. The research group of 8-year-olds included 11 girls and 10 boys. In this study, we used diamond ranking and peer interviews as mediating tools in listening to the pupils’ perspectives. In the article, we describe how a diamond ranking and a peer interview worked as a tool in capturing pupils’ perspectives. Two questions guided the research work: (1) How did diamond ranking and the peer interview work together as a method to improve teacher’s understanding from the pupils’ perspectives? and (2) How did diamond ranking and the peer interview work together as a method to promote pupils’ participation? In this study, the second graders were able to implement diamond ranking. This activity was used as a tool to stimulate pupils’ perspectives that were then captured in peer interviews. The methods provided important information about the pupils and helped the teacher to understand their perspectives. Diamond ranking and peer interviews also revealed information that was not related to pedagogical practices but indicated the sense of relatedness among pupils. In this study, the process of peer interviews was a child-led practice, while the process of diamond ranking activity was teacher-oriented. The method would have served pupils’ participation better if pupils had been more involved in the data collection.
Original languageEnglish
JournalImproving Schools
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)240-254
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • Diamond ranking
  • participation
  • peer interviews
  • pupils' perspectives
  • teacher-research
  • voice
  • challenges

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