Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

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Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Diane Downer Anderson

Second Advisor

Maya Nadkarni


This thesis examines the identities and practices of teachers committed to the values of critical multicultural education, and the extent to which they feel supported or constrained in their everyday practice. I conducted semi-structured interviews with 9 teachers committed to practicing a "critical multicultural pedagogy" or "teaching for social justice." I examined how teachers understood their pedagogical values to be playing out in practice, and also examined the extent to which they were constrained by factors such as district and state testing policies, administrative support or lack thereof, and the growing trend towards de-professionalization of teachers. I found that while teachers remained committed to the values of critical multicultural pedagogies, they were constrained by structural conditions and found informal and formal networks of teacher collaboration and support to be necessary. My findings echo recent literature on the need for increased opportunities for teacher collaboration and leadership within schools and highlight the importance of having teachers play a role in shaping educational policy, in order for teaching to be a sustainable profession and for teachers to be able to teach in ways that reflect the values of critical progressive pedagogies.