Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




equity, decolonization, student voice, middle school, deeper learning, transformative leadership


Transformative actions towards the collective vision of the educated citizen have been central to the change efforts of educational leaders in British Columbia. Through a challenge to the status quo, utilizing a critical and post-structuralist lens, this paper charts a path towards revisioning middle school student success nested in listening stances and reflective practices. At the heart of this Problem of Practice is the disengagement and lack of voice that middle school students are experiencing, viewed through the context of a large and diverse suburban school district in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Theories of social learning, adult learning, and systems thinking are foundational to the equity, diversity, and inclusion actions undertaken in the plan for change. These are central in the approach to transform adult perspectives and school cultures that invite student voice and reconsider hierarchal relationships through epistemologies that are critically oriented and culturally responsive. A theory of change, rooted in the principles of deeper learning is utilized to chart a course that grows the capacity of leaders, teachers, and students to engage in dialogical approaches that consider and transform perspectives on positionality, identity, and change. Utilizing culturally responsive and transformative leadership approaches, an aligned vision for change, and student-centered solutions, the voices of middle school students are lifted and held as important. This stance confronts historical and colonial education structures and promotes system change that builds new funds of knowledge that lead to more inclusive and equitable school environments. This paper outlines a vision for change and liberatory action that holds students as co-contributors in school improvement efforts.