Matin Adegboyega

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education


Johnson, Ane


Student participation in administration


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


"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.