Subscribe today to the most trusted name in education.  Learn more.
Current Issue Current Issue Subscriptions About TCRecord Advanced Search   

 

A Single Voice in the Crowd: A Case Study of One Studentís Determination to Challenge Top Down School Reform


by Barbara L. Pazey, Heather Cole & Daniel Spikes

Background: Set against the backdrop of accountability reform and the dire consequences imposed upon ďfailingĒ schools, this study focuses on the advocacy of one student leader determined to resist the political direction to close his school. While a few studies have documented student voice in reform resistance, none have documented the voice of a student with a dis/ability.

Objective: Using a theoretical framework that weaves together self-determination theory and resiliency theory, the study seeks to understand the motivation and the conditions for that motivation driving a student to take action and the potential role of young people in current educational reform.

Setting: The study takes place in a large, urban city in central Texas. The high school slated for closure is in a poor, minority neighborhood and has been the subject of various reform efforts over the last two decades.

Population: As a single case study, the sole subject is EJ, a young black male with a dis/ability. EJ is the president of his student body and a leader in the reform resistance for his school.

Research Design: This case study is qualitative and uses narrative inquiry to document the story of EJ over a two-year period, following his initial involvement in reform resistance at his school to his key role as student body president during a volatile year of reform decisions by his school district.

Data Collection and Analysis: The study relies on data collected as part of a larger study examining the impact of school turnaround efforts on students with dis/abilities. Centering on the personal accounts of EJ and his own description of what occurred at his school and his leadership role, his narrative in analyzed through the theoretical lens of self-determination and resiliency theory. Data from the larger study is used to triangulate EJís account.

Findings: The study finds that students, and particularly students historically marginalized in school settings, can be extremely effective voices for change.

Conclusions: The paper concludes with implications for accountability reform and a discussion of the potential of expanding approaches of student engagement in reform efforts to include student voice, particularly, the voices of students with dis/abilities.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 9, 2017, p. 1-37
http://www.tcrecord.org/library ID Number: 22038, Date Accessed: 12/11/2017 4:23:34 AM


Catch the latest video from AfterEd, the new video channel from the EdLab at Teachers College.
Global education news of the week in brief.; NCLB; international education; software; This episode explores ten interesting and little known facts about Social Studies.; social studies; humor; media; research; schools; Three seniors at Heritage High School talk about education and what the next President should do about it.; Debates; Heritage High School; NCLB; NYC schools; education; election; girls; interview; politics; presidential election; schools; speak out; students; testing; EdWorthy Theater starring MIT Physics Professor Professor Walter Lewin.; MIT; physics; We feature new content about the future of education. Put us on your website ≠ whether you're a student, teacher, or educational institution, we aim to create great content that will entertain and enlighten your audience. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1078591423http://www.brightcove.com/channel.jsp?channel=1079000717

Site License Agreement    
 Get statistics in Counter format