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This manual, though, is not only for educators and those working in schools, any adult interested in building a trusting partnership relationship with a child will find it handy and inspiring, and we would like to invite parents, uncles and aunts, grandparents to reach out and read it, there is much to learn from it (Lana Jurko, Network of Education Policy Centers).

The Start the Change team is delighted to have the new publication “The Voice of Children – creating space and starting the change: manual for adults” published in 5 languages (English, Croatian, Macedonian, Albanian and Portuguese).

We see a particular significance of this Manual in the fact that firstly the students were interviewed in 2020, when all three countries experienced sudden changes in education due to the COVID-19 crisis and as the key findings show the voice of young people in these times was even less asked, consulted and respected. We consider student voice, i.e. the students’ perspective on those changes, to be extremely important because they enable consideration to take place about what changes can be implemented in order to achieve a higher quality of the teaching process and student wellbeing in the challenges of the pandemic situation.

Thus, in this Manual for adults, the authors Munivrana, Perak and Pavlović decided to approach the topic of student voice from different perspectives: children’s, teachers’, and experts’ and in this way provide theoretical background and models, good practice examples, different tools and inspirational self-reflection exercises. One of the project experts after reading the Manual pointed out the significant aspect of what the Manual is trying to do:

This magical mix of detailing insightful theory, highlighting visionary leadership and offering self-reflective practice creates an opportunity for educators to recognise where they are on the journey of shifting their mindset from one in which adults are and should be in control of the school environment completely to one where we are able to release our angst, control and worry and begin to trust in the wisdom of children, themselves and collaboration to ensure that everyone in the school environment is able to grow and develop healthily (Mialy Dermish, SIRIUS – Policy Network on Migrant Education).

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