Presentation Title

Student Voice: How the Presence of School-Wide Student Voice Initiatives at the Elementary Level Impact the School Community

Location

Guzman 111, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-17-2019 6:20 PM

Department

Education

Student Type

Graduate

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Although presence of student voice in schools has diminished over the past few decades due to a nationwide focus on standardized testing and school accountability, recent student movements and a push for equity and engagement in school reform efforts have pushed this topic back to the forefront. A large body of research shows that giving students opportunities to use their voice increases their leadership skills and makes them feel more connected to their school community. Few studies, however, examined elementary-level student voice and its impact on the school community. The purpose of this research was to examine how the presence of school-wide student voice initiatives at the elementary level impact the school community. This study utilized a qualitative approach and data was collected through interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups at a K-8 School in Northern California. The results of this study illuminated the relationship between perceived leadership capabilities and student voice opportunities. The minimal attention given to developing student voice opportunities at the elementary level failed to meet the principal’s vision of leveraging student voice to develop a strong sense of community. Results also revealed that elementary students want increased opportunities to use their voice, which emphasizes the need for schools to develop and effectively implement student voice initiatives at the elementary level.

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Apr 17th, 6:20 PM

Student Voice: How the Presence of School-Wide Student Voice Initiatives at the Elementary Level Impact the School Community

Guzman 111, Dominican University of California

Although presence of student voice in schools has diminished over the past few decades due to a nationwide focus on standardized testing and school accountability, recent student movements and a push for equity and engagement in school reform efforts have pushed this topic back to the forefront. A large body of research shows that giving students opportunities to use their voice increases their leadership skills and makes them feel more connected to their school community. Few studies, however, examined elementary-level student voice and its impact on the school community. The purpose of this research was to examine how the presence of school-wide student voice initiatives at the elementary level impact the school community. This study utilized a qualitative approach and data was collected through interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups at a K-8 School in Northern California. The results of this study illuminated the relationship between perceived leadership capabilities and student voice opportunities. The minimal attention given to developing student voice opportunities at the elementary level failed to meet the principal’s vision of leveraging student voice to develop a strong sense of community. Results also revealed that elementary students want increased opportunities to use their voice, which emphasizes the need for schools to develop and effectively implement student voice initiatives at the elementary level.