Saturday, 12 March 2016

Personal Agency

Another of my favourite bloggers, Tom Bennett, published an interesting piece deconstructing Student Voice into a number of Agencies.

  • Proxy Agency - where we rely on others to act (e.g. the School Council)
  • Collective Agency - where we work with others
  • Personal Agency - where we work with forethought to achieve our desired goal.
Tom points out that this amorphous thing called Student Voice which everyone agrees is "a good thing" (indeed it was probably the single most high-impact area of the work we did at SSAT on personalising learning, thanks in large part to the work of Gill Mullis) is far more complex and these three areas perhaps help us understand what it is we are promoting. Student democracy and school councils don't lead directly through to the learner being more independent in the classroom for example.

The notion of personal agency as described by Tom matches very well my ideas about "Personal Presence" within the Community of Inquiry model - that described the extent to which the learner can link their learning to their wider network of tools, contacts and experiences (both ways) which itself was derived from the description of Agency Presence by Anderson (2016).


Anderson, T. (2016) A Fourth Presence for the Community of Inquiry Model? Virtual Canuck. Available at: (Accessed on 13th February 2016)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. All comments are moderated - I will aim to review your comment quickly and make sure it is made available.