Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2014 Isabel M. Sacks. 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, Latin American & Latino Studies Program

First Advisor

Lisa Smulyan

Second Advisor

Milton Machuca-Gálvez


This thesis explores how teachers at Escuela Católica de los Bateyes (ECB), a rural school in the Dominican Republic, define and enact social justice education. The research is based upon semi-structured interviews with four teachers and the author's field notes during her work with nine ECB teachers on her Lang Opportunity Scholarship project in the summer of 2014. She finds that local and national contextual factors, including the Catholic mission of the school, the rural poverty of the area, and the presence of undocumented Haitian students in the school, were crucial to how the teachers viewed social justice education. Rather than the Freirean aims of consciousness building, uprising, and liberation, ECB teachers saw the central goals of social justice education as creating convivencia (living in harmony in community and society), instilling valores (morals and values), and ensuring their students' right to education.