Thursday, April 28, 2016

URSP Student Asha Jones Investigates the Effectiveness of Social Justice Curriculums from the Perspective of Educators

My name is Asha Jones, and I am a global affairs major and a social justice minor. For my research project, I am investigating the effectiveness of social justice curriculums from the perspective of educators, and ways in which we can improve them. I am working under the mentorship of Dr. Paul Gorski, from New Century College, as well as Alex Cromwell, an instructor in Peace Education at American University. I became interested in the field after taking a class here at Mason, NCLC 101, Narratives of Identity. In this course, we learned about different social justice issues, and how our perspectives impacted our understanding of these topics. After seeing how seemingly ignorant many of my classmates were, I became interested in social justice curriculum in high schools, and how we can first make them available for all, and secondly make them better. Ultimately, I aspire to do human rights/advocacy type work, and education is key in both of these tasks, so this research is fitting. At this point, majority of my research is reading. My research question has shifted a bit since my initial proposal, so now my time is consumed by doing additional reading to further pinpoint my question. This week, I finally had a breakthrough in terms of the focus I’d like to hone in on for my research, and as a result I was able to start to developing the interview questions I’d like to use. My study will be qualitative, and for a while I was having difficulty finding a niche within the realm of social justice education, but I believe I have figured it out.