Student Voice Reimagined: High School Students Creating a True School Democracy Through Participatory Action Research




Green, Joseph V.

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Employing a participatory action research methodology, this dissertation documents the work of ten students, The Student Voice Team, and their efforts to make a lasting difference on their campus. Reporting on this research through a narrative inquiry lens effectively allows for the telling of the students’ stories working as co-researchers while documenting their democratic journey to school improvement. The questions guiding this research include: (a) How can students exercise democratic practice and student agency within the boundaries of their school? (b) In what ways can including student voice change curriculum choices and instructional methods? (c) What are the possibilities when students feel like true equals on their campus? (d) When acting as agents of change, how can students influence the school improvement process? Data collection sources comprise collaborative meetings with students, GroupMe conversations, student journals, researcher’s journal, videos created by students, and conversational exit interviews. Study findings chronicle the progress and accomplishments of The Student Voice Team through major themes that they established as critical for school improvement. Student agency in action describes student participation at an important annual conference. Seeking equality through dialogue follows the evolution of the relationship between students and teachers to improve teaching and learning. The final chapter illustrates how each member of the team became a student leader, ultimately changing the campus culture in ways that would empower future students and teachers



Student voice, Student agency, Participatory action research, Dialogical education, Democratic education, Curriculum design, Student equality


Green, J. V. (2019). <i>Student voice reimagined: High school students creating a true school democracy through participatory action research</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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