Term of Graduation

Spring 2007

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Educational Leadership




Middle school students -- Pacific Northwest, Phenomenology and art -- Pacific Northwest, Alternative education -- Pacific Northwest, Progressive education -- Pacific Northwest



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, x, 145 pages)


Since the beginning of public school as a social institution early in the nineteenth century, the voices of children have been missing from the discussion about school. From the progressive era to the current standards based movement, structures of education have been premised on the ideas of what adults think are the best ways for children to learn. But educators and other adults are recognizing the importance of student perspectives by providing children opportunities to participate in critical reflection about school. By including children of all ages in this discussion, educators, policy makers and researchers may begin to examine their own assumptions about student learning, subject matter and educational policy.

A phenomenological approach was used to describe the lived school experiences of five 6th grade children attending an arts magnet school in the Pacific Northwest. Phenomenology focuses on the individual lived experiences of the study participants and how their understanding of those experiences shape the phenomena under study. The research question was this: How do children perceive and describe their experiences of school? Data were collected through three in-depth interviews of each participant. An iterative process of questioning, information giving, analysis and verification was characteristic of the entire study. Through a process of phenomenological reduction, 5 themes emerged from the data: (a) Feelings, (b) Learning, (c) Relationships, (d) Time, (e) Orderliness. Limitations of the study included the small sample size and the possibility of researcher influence on participant responses because of perceived adult/child power differentials.


In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to pdxscholar@pdx.edu and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier