Term of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

Daniel Chapman

Committee Member 2

John Weaver

Committee Member 3

William Schubert

Committee Member 3 Email



In this inquiry, I ask the questions: What could my career, my life, and the world be like in the future? How could public education be impacted by the frenzy over accountability, standards, and the belief that competition and unrestricted capitalism will reform American schools, especially for students of color and from the working and lower classes? How can I, a high school English teacher, address pressing social and educational issues to affect change? I explore these questions through a work of fiction I have created. Theoretically drawing from critical pedagogy, I use arts based research and fiction as methodology to challenge accountability, standardization, , and neoliberalism through a work of dystopian fiction.

I have identified six “demands” for the reimagining of public education from my inquiry: (1) Teacher education should focus on developing intellectual, thoughtful, and critical teachers who understand that their role is not to test, sort, or label students, but to support, guide, and advocate for all. (2) It is of paramount importance to provide equal opportunities for all students to reach their highest potential (Siddle-Walker, 1996), rather than privilege those who hold money, power, and cultural capital. (3) White students, teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians need to challenge their White privileges before they can critically think about racism and act against its detrimental effects in the classroom. (4) Teachers need to cultivate relationships with students that are based on mutual respect and care, but not on power or control. (5) Teachers and students should never give up hope, rather, create possibilities for change. (6) Teachers and students should work with administrators, parents/guardians, and other educational workers to create a critical and artful pedagogy where teachers are able to invent critical and inspirational curriculum based upon their own funds of knowledge (González, Moll, & Amanti, 2005) and the interests and creative potentials of their students, and where students are able to develop their “epistemological curiosity” (Freire & Macedo, 1995), engage in active learning, have equal opportunities to release their creative imagination (Greene, 1995), and thrive with their funds of knowledge to realize their potential in education and life.

Research Data and Supplementary Material