Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Sudeck, Maria

Committee Member 1

Foley, Raymond

Committee Member 2

Coaxum, James


Curriculum, Personal Responsibility, Progressive Learning, Social Development, Social Justice, Social Responsibility


Middle schools; Curriculum evaluation


Curriculum and Instruction | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


One of the fundamental goals of 21st century schools is for students to become independent thinkers through the use of comprehensive academic curriculum that merges academic and social skills to prepare students to compete and engage in an increasingly changing world. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify the ways in which three of Schwab’s four functions, social responsibility, personal responsibility, and social justice, were embedded and measured within core academic curriculum. The study also examined how teachers perceived students’ behaviors as a result of a social justice mindset.

The study was conducted using a traditional qualitative methodology consisting of an in-depth review of district policy, curriculum, learning standards, and interviews with 8th grade core academic content teachers and the district curriculum specialist over a period of 8 months. The review of the data and interviews showed that there is a greater need to more purposefully embed social learning components within academic content. Changes in policy, practice, and research are necessary to achieve environments that equally prioritize academic and social learning.