Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Emma H. Fuentes

Second Advisor

Shabnam Koirala Azad

Third Advisor

Patrick Camangian

Fourth Advisor

Uma M. Jayakumar


This qualitative study explored the ways in which our classroom community (students and teacher) engaged with humanizing pedagogy in a seventh grade science classroom, toward the full development (e.g. personal, social, emotional, academic) of our classroom community, and the dismantling of inequitable practices and unjust policies that we recognized in our science classroom, school and/or community while utilizing the process of teacher and student participatory action research (tsPAR) (Adamian, 2015) and Critical Race Praxis for Educational Research (CRP-Ed) (Jayakumar & Adamian, 2015).

This study examined the complexities of mutually engaging across differing positionalities while intentionally working in spaces of distress (e.g. push and pull between oppression and liberation). The findings demonstrated the ways in which building a beloved community while situated within an oppressive U.S. schooling system, supported students and teacher toward cultivating pedagogy rooted in love and agency, with a collective commitment toward social justice. As a result, this study contributed toward expanding the possibilities for teaching and learning toward social justice in constricting institutional contexts that honor students and teachers relationships while simultaneously defining for ourselves the purpose of schooling and who we are.