Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Hurley, Dennis


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School Complex (Atlantic City, N.J.); Middle school students; Student government


Educational Leadership


This study sought to learn how peer group behavior patterns among middle school students change for the better with the emergence of a student council. The setting was the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School Complex in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The school had undergone several reconfigurations to the student body in prior years. Since then it has been difficult to maintain a student body culture that was both stable and suitable for substantial academic achievement. This study was organized along the continuum of the academic calendar and interwoven within the customs and routines of the school. It took advantage of the inclinations of students (age 11-14) to belong with influential social groups and to express independence of adult authority by promoting the role of a student council. The study had three phases. Planning and organizational was phase one. Phase two was characterized by implementation, observation and recording. The final phase included culmination and analysis of the project's impact.