Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

4-2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Brianna Parsons, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Lori L. Sanchez, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Margaret M. Boice, Ed.D.

Keywords

social justice, instruction, advocate, teacher practice, lower primary, development

Abstract

This qualitative intrinsic case study examined how teachers instructed and advocated for social justice in the international Kindergarten to Grade 2 classroom. Social justice is an important topic for discussion and exploration for children of any age, yet the research revealed much of the focus on social justice in education was focused on older students, as some theorists felt younger children could not understand the complexities of the concept. Data were collected through focus groups, semistructured interviews, and the evaluation of values-based lesson plans. It was analyzed with the intent of gaining greater understanding of how teachers’ perspectives regarding social justice affected advocacy and instruction with their students. Through these methods, information was gathered then analyzed and interpreted using the framework method. The results of analysis showed that participants had an idea of what social justice was, and although not all specifically focused on social justice in their classroom, there were strategies and techniques used in their teaching style that contributed to the concepts of social justice such as equality, diversity, and acceptance. Teachers saw the value in the concepts of social justice and felt if approached from an appropriate age-level, their students would be instilled with these positive traits. Findings also implicated a need for schools to take an active responsibility in ensuring all staff and students understand social justice and what it means to themselves and those around them.

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Education Commons

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