Design and Intervention of an Educational-Leadership Program: Student Voice and Agency, Expectations and Internationalization

Anna Elizabeth Du Plessis


This paper explores the lived experiences of a diverse student cohort enrolled in a master’s degree educational-leadership program. The program’s global focus was on the quality of teacher education, prospective teachers’ workplace preparedness and leaders in the workforce in higher education. Internationalization, real-life experiences and student voice served as an enacted intervention curriculum for an educational leadership course designed to reveal the gap between theory and practice. An epistemological diversity lens stimulated critical reflection on students’ participation in the course design and its connection to realities in the field. Diverse higher-education classrooms pose specific challenges for educational leadership programs in including effective internationalization, workplace relevance and improving the generalizability and content validity of the educational leadership course. This small qualitative exploratory investigation provides an in-depth understanding of the value of student voice in informing course and program design. Interviews, observations, two surveys and a document analysis triangulated the data and provided information on the complexities in higher-education classrooms. The findings focus on teacher-educators and higher-education classroom management as well as on the value of critical inquiry, reflection and intervention for existing course designs and transformation.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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