Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education


College of Education, Department of Educational Policy Studies and Research

First Advisor

Karen Monkman, PhD


This autoethnographic study examines how a first year teacher, self-identifying as a social justice educator, comes to understand the lived experience of becoming a professional. The purpose of the study was to explore the unique challenges, perspectives, and philosophical contradictions that present themselves in the daily life of a social justice educator in a public elementary school setting. Through self-reflective journaling five becomings were revealed to be intertwined in the process of developing as a social justice educator: becoming a classroom manager, becoming a content specialist, becoming an implementation virtuoso, becoming an assessment architect, and becoming a balanced educator. It was clear through this research that becoming a teacher is a process and a journey, and becoming a social justice teacher added yet another dimension of reflection and perspective.

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