Capstone/Dissertation Title

Impact on attitudes and beliefs about social justice of an interdisciplinary unit with that focus on middle school students at an area learning center

Term

2007

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

The research question addressed is, what impact on attitudes and beliefs about social justice does an interdisciplinary unit with this focus have on middle school students at an Area Learning Center? It documents one teacher's journey to bring issues of social justice into her classroom. Key influences include family, students, teaching partners, authors such as Freire, Baldwin, Nieto, Edelsky, and Palmer, and activists such as Ghandhi, Chavez, and Beals. The research method involved teaching a unit on social justice, assessing student attitudes with a pre-and post-unit attitude scale, and recording student and teacher reflections on the unit. The teacher describes successes and failures in her action research and concludes that 1) issues of social justice need to be embedded in the curriculum for maximum impact on student attitudes and beliefs and 2) seeds of engagement in social justice issues can be planted through a focused study of that topic.

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