Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2015 Samantha Stevens. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Elaine Allard

Second Advisor

Christopher Michael Fraga


This thesis explores the arts as a potential framework for achieving social justice through the system of education. The author uses her experience as a student-teacher in a charter school with an arts-based social justice framework as a springboard for discussion, identifying points of tension that arise as educators translate social justice theory into practice in today’s schools. Faced with the challenges of oppression and systemic inequality, educators work to transform schools into vehicles for social justice. Some teachers turn to the charter school model in an effort to sculpt environments fit to meet the needs of students form marginalized populations. The author explores theoretical differences in conceptualizing what it means to work for social justice, claiming that the arts is particularly well-suited as a framework for social justice work.