Public school education in the United States has a long history of supporting societal norms within the curriculum and classroom. Through the use of social justice and inclusive education (SJIE), teachers have the unique ability to disrupt the social reproduction of inequity within their content and curriculum. In order to do this, teachers must first understand social justice and inclusive education (knowledge) and feel comfortable and confident implementing it within their classroom (agency). This study focuses on 13 public school teachers who attended a weeklong professional development program which focused on social justice, privilege, trauma-informed education, mindfulness, and inclusive education in order to answer the following research questions: (1) How did teachers' knowledge and skillset related to social justice and inclusive education change after attending a summer professional development program? And, how was this change, if any, sustained over a school year? (2) What is the relationship between self-reported learned knowledge and skillset with implementation of an inclusive curriculum and teacher agency? Teachers completed a pre-test, post-test, and one-year follow-up test assessing their knowledge and feelings of implementation of SJIE. While there was a decrease between the post-test and the one-year follow-up test, the teachers demonstrated growth on nine of the ten pre-test measures assessed on the follow-up test. The knowledge from the training was sustainable over the course of a school year. Additionally, teachers participated in interviews where they were asked about changes to their personal lives and professional practice. Interviews were coded for evidence of themes and practices (artifacts). Teachers were divided into four groups based on their scores on the follow-up test and related artifacts and analyzed for evidence of teacher agency. This study found a relationship between implementation and teacher agency, implying that teacher agency related to SJIE can be enhanced through professional development programs.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Public Administration
Public Affairs; Public Administration
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Sanguiliano Lonski, Jennifer, "Social Justice, Inclusive Education, and Teacher Agency" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 281.