Date of Graduation


Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Human Rights Education (HRE)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

David Donahue

Second Advisor

Melissa Canlas


This field projects centers around the issue of hopelessness among teachers and students and examines the genre of speculative fiction as a potential tool for cultivating critical hope in the classroom and as an asset to critical pedagogy. Utopian pedagogy and critical pedagogy make up the theoretical framework of this research and project development. The research explores the use of speculative fiction in three areas: activism and identity, student engagement, and utopian performance. The review of the literature demonstrates that the use of speculative fiction in the classroom has the potential to engage students in conversations about social justice and provide opportunities for students to express their feelings about the future, which could aid in the cultivation of critical hope. This research led to the development of a learning guide which includes sample lessons for grades 9 and above and utilize reading, creative writing, and performance as methods of engaging with speculative fiction. The lessons invite teachers and students to work with short stories from Octavia’s Brood (ed. Imarisha, W., Brown, A.M., Thomas, S. R., 2015) and include questions for discussion, activities, and questions for reflection. The learning guide also includes recommendations for further reading and curriculum development.