Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Kuzmic, Jeffrey

Second Advisor

Villaverde, Leila

Third Advisor

Rury, John


This study explored the dynamics that impact opportunity for students to share knowledge, and express beliefs, values, and opinions in the context of an eighth grade classroom. A multi-methods approach was used to examine factors that contributed to the enhancement or diminishment of possibilities for student voice. The role of the teacher's voice in this dynamic became an unexpectedly powerful factor in opportunities for students to share their knowledge and ideas. Findings suggested that the ways in which students were encouraged or discouraged from participating impacted their learning and identities. The intricate and fundamental ways in which voice was tied to knowledge construction, identity, and agency was an unexpected but central finding. Discourses regarding schooling, its role and purposes, adolescents, teaching and learning, and the role of adults in society were particularly relevant to this study as they related to teacher and student construction of their identities, knowledge and voice. The significant role of teachers' ideologies shaped by sociocultural, economic, and historical context in informing the pedagogical choices, content of the formal and informal curriculum, and interactions with students is highlighted. The ways in which students variously accepted, resisted, rejected, and negotiated messages conveyed about their experiences, academic performance, and identities is explored, as are themes of care and responsibility as defined by teacher and students. Finally implications for teachers, administrators, policy makers, teacher educators, and further research are discussed.