Emirati Student Voice: An Exploration

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This study set out to explore student voice. The aim of this study was to capture student voice and identify how students contributed to school decision making. Research was conducted in three Dubai secondary government schools for girls. The research questions that guided the study are: 1) How do students express their views and opinions in school? 2) How do students perceive their role in school decision making? Qualitative research methods were used to answer the research questions which included focus group of students, individual interviews of school staff, and visual images. A school as community model formulated provided the theoretical framework for interpreting the data. This conceptual framework helped in examining student voice and the relationship between the students and the adults in school. The findings of the present study reveal that student do not contribute to school decision making. They also depicted how the participants view their relationship with each other. Three areas were identified that influence the student voice: governance, culture of care and agency. Recommendations, which were built on the findings, are addressed to educators to consider students as partners in their own education and not the object of it. Additional areas are suggested for future research
Emirati student, decision making, secondary government schools, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)