The focus of education during K-12 and Higher Education (HE) in Iran is on theoretical empowerment of students; therefore, our students get an illusion of knowing. In fact, what happens is not learning and understanding; rather, it is verbatim transfer of available information in the textbooks into the students’ minds. It might be because the students and teachers (as the main stakeholders of the education) are the least powerful parties within the pyramid of power amongst educational practitioners and policymakers. It means their voice, feedback, needs, and ideologies have no place in the educational decisions and policies. In alignment with the mainstream of the present research; it is an innovative idea to explore the students’ living/ studying experience during K-12, and their ideals and expectations from higher education studies. To do so, we asked 60 university students to portray their experience (in a phenomenological research design) concerning living and studying through K-12 and their ideals and expectations from Higher Education. Students’ drawings are the main source of data collection and inductive analysis of data is administered to find students’ responses which are categorized under three major and six minor themes, respectively.


students’ drawings, phenomenological research design, K-12 educational system, higher education, Iranian educational context

Author Bio(s)

Iman Tohidian is pursuing his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at Allameh Tabataba’i University (ATU), Tehran, Iran. He has taught courses for undergraduate EFL learners at different universities over the state. He has published research articles and book reviews in international reputable journals. His areas of interest are Higher Education, Educational Policy, Internationalization of Higher Education, Educational Management & Leadership, Critical Literacy, Cultural Studies, Language & Power, Women & Identities, Psycho- and Socio-analysis of Language, Teacher Education, Critical Pedagogy, and Educational Reform. Please direct correspondence to tohidian.i@gmail.com.

Abbas Abbaspour (Prof.) is affiliated with Department of Educational Administration and Planning, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Allameh Tabataba’i University (ATU), Tehran, Iran. He got his Ph.D. in Management from University of Tehran, Iran. He has extensively published research in reputable journals and presented orally in prestigious international conferences. He has also more than 20 years of top-level management and consulting experience in public and private organizations. Please direct correspondence to abbaspour@atu.ac.ir.

Ali Khorsandi Taskoh is Assistant Prof. of Department of Educational Administration & Planning affiliated with Allameh Tabataba’i University (ATU), Tehran, Iran. He got his Ph.D. degree in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Western Ontario, CANADA. Please direct correspondence to ali.khorsandi@atu.ac.ir.

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