Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Jason L. Endacott

Committee Member

Christian Z. Goering

Second Committee Member

Sean P. Connors


Critical Peace Education, Critical Pedagogy, Peace Theory, Social Sciences Education, Social Studies Education


This two-article dissertation begins by providing a conceptual argument for the inclusion of Critical Peace Pedagogy (CPP) in social studies education. CPP represents the convergence of the peace education tradition and Paulo Freire’s critical praxis. I begin by aligning CPP to the philosophy, goals, and methods of instruction espoused by critical citizen educators seeking to further democracy and human rights. To demonstrate the feasibility of CPP integration within the social studies, I provide a model classroom approach framed according to a nationally recognized instructional design model. I close with a brief exposition on the importance of peace within education’s emerging critical pedagogical trend.

Article two transfers my conceptual argument to empirical research. In this comparative case study of three secondary social studies teachers, I explain their experience of learning CPP through a professional development workshop and implementing CPP within a conservative, “red state” public-school setting. I trace the teachers’ implementation process using the constructs of pedagogical reasoning and subject area critical consciousness. Through this combined lens of analysis, I identify teachers’ shared experience of seeing the violence within their curricular content, understanding their classroom’s potential for greater social change, and recognizing mandated curriculum as a prohibitor to complete CPP integration. I also characterize two distinct approaches to CPP instruction: (1) an instrumental approach fueled by disciplinary understanding, and (2) a conceptual approach allowing for complete CPP integration. The nature and importance of these two classroom approaches are discussed according to their contributions to critical classroom praxis and greater social change.