Term of Award

Summer 2021

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

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


College of Education

Committee Chair

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

John Weaver

Committee Member 2

Robert Lake

Committee Member 3

William Schubert

Committee Member 3 Email



Transgressing the boundaries of traditional dissertation inquiries interwoven with my lived experiences, I compose this dissertation as a collection of speculative essays (Schubert, 1991) on the political economy of education (Gradstein, Justman, & Meier, 2005; Lipman, 2011; Saltman, 2018) with a particular focus on the impact of the idealization of profit and the action of power on modern public schooling in the U. S. Drawing upon a wide array of literature such as critical theory (e.g., Anyon, 2011; Giroux, 1988), cultural studies (e.g., Kellner & Share, 2009), and critical media literacy (e.g., Macedo & Steinberg, 2011), I present schooling and education as a political act and schools as sites of cultural reproduction. I explore the role ideology plays in shaping our complicated identities and creating meaning reproduced in our schools, that perpetuates the hierarchical order of society at the expense of public commons. I argue for a transformation of public schools that serve the public rather than subjugate to hegemony and commodity. Specifically, I use critical theory to examine the ways neoliberalism and cultural conservatism act as an agent of authority producing docile bodies and deform the nature/role of public schooling (Weaver, 2018). I explore what it means to be educated. I argue that schools should shatter the one-size-fits-all model, fulfill the mandate to educate, and become the places where teachers and students are valued as free people who are liberated to discover their own identities (Ayers, 2016; Lake, 2013) and compose their own lives as active participants in a contested and complicated world (He, 2021).

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material