Author(s)

Matin Adegboyega

Date Approved

9-30-2015

Embargo Period

3-28-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Johnson, Ane

Subject(s)

Student participation in administration

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

"Student voice" is a metaphor for active student engagement and participation in issues that matter to their learning and schooling experiences (Student Achievement Division, 2013). The exclusion of student voice in urban education raises the question about what opportunity exists for students to express their opinions on matters that affect them in schools. Urban education has a culture that is ripped apart by chronic absenteeism, low graduation rates, high dropout rates, school violence, and poor academic performance (Steinberg & McCray, 2012; Rodriguez, 2008). If reforms are truly to address these challenges, in what facets of schooling and learning do teachers and administrators seek student voice? Therefore, the interplay of critical theory and learning theory within the framework of constructivism were used as lenses in this qualitative case study to understand teachers' conceptions of student voice in an urban high school in New Jersey. Sixteen certificated teachers participated in this study and findings revealed that teachers allowed student voice to enhance their classroom practices, promote teacher-student relationship, and they felt that it should be incorporated into the school culture. However, observations from classrooms visits and document analysis did not corroborate these findings in entirety. This study also demonstrated that teachers and students should be in partnership to address the challenges in urban high schools.

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