Educators' Confidence: Social Justice
University of Wisconsin-Superior
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The study addressed three problems related to social justice education (SJE): inconsistent vocabulary, siloed teacher education programs, and the neglect of teacher intersectionality when designing professional development. The study asked three questions, “How confident are WI 6-12 educators in facilitating SJE in their classroom, do demographics correlate with that confidence, and do personal histories with diversity correlate?” An anonymous self-administered online survey collected self-reported data about participants' inherent traits and asked respondents to self-select for categorical variables. The results indicated 79.7% of participants (N = 566) self-identified a level of confidence above 50% (Moderately confident teaching SJE). Confidence positively correlated (f = 0.294, p <0.00001) with experience with diversity during childhood and young adult years. The study was originally planned as a needs analysis to provide evidence that Wisconsin educators were not feeling confident about providing SJE in their classrooms. Instead, the survey showed 79.7% of participants (N = 566) participants felt "moderately confident" or more. Perhaps this study instead provides evidence that Wisconsin educators might not be aware of their shortcomings in their SJE competencies.
social justice, cultural competence, tolerance, Wisconsin, equity, inclusive, privilege, confidence, intersectionality, identity, teacher education programs, social desirability, diversity