One role of public schools in the United States is to prepare students to be active citizens within a democracy. An active role requires that citizens be able to voice their concerns and opinions while also considering the opinions of others so that decisions for the common good are reached. Student voice therefore becomes a critical issue within education. In a review of the literature on student voice, it is evident that the current research on student voice is relegated to select group of students but fails to investigate democratic voice of all students. The literature also does not address the structures beyond these select groupings nor does it discuss the processes that enhance student voice for all students. This study examines structures and processes within one middle school and how they facilitate student voice for all students.
Observations, interviews, student journals, field notes, and school documents were used to collect data for this narrative inquiry qualitative study. The analysis process of critical reflection was used to code and theme the data to determine which structures and processes facilitated democratic student voice. The findings show that teacher instructional practices determine the effectiveness of several school structures. When effective instructional practices are used within these school structures, the data further showed that student voice is enhanced through specific cognitive and affective skills. Implications of the study identify a need for changes within teacher evaluation, school scheduling, and mandated testing.
|Advisor:||O'Hair, Mary J.|
|Commitee:||Beach, Sally, Cate, Jean, Vaughn, Courtney, Williams, Leslie|
|School:||The University of Oklahoma|
|Department:||Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Oklahoma|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social studies education, Curriculum development|
|Keywords:||Advisory, Authentic assessments, Democratic schools, Inquiry and discourse, Narrative inquiry, Student voice|
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