Valuing Children's Voices


  • Mary Alice Barksdale Virginia Tech
  • Cheri F Triplett Radford University


Children's Perceptions


This paper explores the voices of elementary children in public schools. Three data bases were used including (a) interviews with 25 elementary students, (b) drawings and writings created by 225 third through sixth-grade students about their high stakes testing experiences, and (c) observations in two first-grade classrooms. The data demonstrate that elementary children have much to say about their overall school experiences, including their worries at school, their feelings of disconnect with their teachers, the lack of meaningful learning experiences, and their desire to be heard as unique individuals. These findings challenge educators to make changes in American classrooms in order to best meet the needs of young children.

Author Biographies

Mary Alice Barksdale, Virginia Tech

Mary Alice Barksdale is an associate professor in literacy and elementary education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Virginia Tech.

Cheri F Triplett, Radford University

Cheri Triplett is an associate professor in literacy education in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Radford University.




How to Cite

Barksdale, M. A., & Triplett, C. F. (2010). Valuing Children’s Voices. Current Issues in Education, 13(4). Retrieved from