Date of Award

Spring 3-8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Transformational Teaching and Learning


Elementary Education

First Advisor

Dr. Catherine McGeehan, Ed.D., Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrew Miness, Ph.D., Committee Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Terre Sychterz, Ph.D., Committee Member


Through an embedded social justice-themed book club and approach to subversive critical literacy experiences, students gain the necessary skills-based knowledge, which cultivate civic awareness, identity, and civic agency, inviting them to develop perspective of real-world issues and concerns. Transformative teaching practices engage teachers and students in the joy of the partnership model as social justice-themed texts provide the opportunity for liberation and synthesis. The students who participate in the social justice-themed book club acknowledge and welcome the discourse as co-investigators in the real-world inquiry. While engaging in twelve authentic literacy-based subversive experiences, students challenge their own opinions and cultivate a deeper sense of civic agency. This mixed-methods action research study demonstrates how inquiry-based culturally responsive frameworks support fourth-grade students in their cultivated growth as civic change agents that go beyond isolated skill building and test preparations. When educational opportunities align with the real world, presented through subversive approaches to critical literacy in education, the role of literacy takes on new meaning and purpose. Through this transformational teaching and learning opportunity, empowered students and teachers evolve as critically conscious civic ‘changed agents’.



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