Impact: A Journal of Community and Cultural Inquiry in Education


In education there have been many reforms over the years that have asked teachers to be self-reflexive about their pedagogical practices as well as to develop their own articulation of the true purpose of education. One such reform has been centered around the term “student voice.” While there are many different theoretical interpretations and practical implementations of the term, this study sought to identify how teachers in an urban setting conceive of the term, as well as how they described their own facilitation in practice. This is particularly important for traditionally marginalized students who often feel disempowered in school. Using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as an analytical framework, the researcher interviewed three urban high school teachers and found that teachers believed that student voice had a larger purpose beyond the classroom, student voice was essential for authentic student engagement and content mastery, and that there were prerequisites that must exist in order to facilitate student voice. The study revealed that more attention must be given to preparing teachers to engage in the pedagogies that facilitate student voice and conversations on race, gender, and sexuality.