Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Curriculum and Social Inquiry

First Advisor

Dr. Efrat Efron

Second Advisor

Terry Jo Smith

Third Advisor

Antonina Lukenchuk


As social justice issues become known, one may be moved to act in the hopes of alleviating the conditions that burden marginalized and oppressed people. What is sometimes missing from the discourse when discussing oppressive issues is the role women play in counteracting such subjugation. Also essential, yet missing from the research, are studies that underscore the importance of educators fostering social action change outside of and apart from institutions of learning and curriculum planning. This qualitative study examined the lives of six, nontraditional, female educator intellectuals whose perceptions of self (identity) and the world were transformed by engaging in social change efforts around the globe. Through narrative inquiry, a cross-case analysis of the participants revealed the Connectivity of Transformative Conditions (CTC)- situationality, positionality, self-efficacy, agency, and praxis- illuminating our human capacity to further fracture barriers related to power, class, race, and gender through social change endeavors.


A cadre of dedicated professionals, who I consider my mentors, made the collection of words and sentiments scrolled across these pages possible. A special thank you is extended to Dr. Sara Efrat Efron, my Dissertation Chair and a Professor in the Department of Educations, Foundations, and Inquiry at National Louis University. I appreciate her guidance and feedback throughout these five and a half years and she will always take up a special place in my heart. Much appreciation also goes to my Dissertation Committee at National Louis University: Dr. Antonina Lukenchuk, Dr. Terry Jo Smith, and Dr. Kamau Rashid. In addition, I would like to thank Dr. Patrick Roberts at Northern Illinois University for having a profound affect on my transformation as an educator. And heartfelt appreciation is also owed to Lynn Martin for offering her advice, as well.

The encouragement and support of Ron Krause, Agata Trzaska, Jean Likens, Mary Kalogeropoulos-Gorr, Cassie Schwartz, and Dr. Joan McGarry cannot be left unwritten. I am the educator I am today because of you. And to the six female educators of my research who were the catalysts of change that made me laugh, cry, and push past the haziness of various social constructs to unveil both the sad and beautiful sides of humanity: Mariel Iezzoni, Jillian Foster, Jennifer Irizarry, Madison, Melinda Edwards, and Linda Brodine. I will forever be touched by your honesty, vulnerability, humility, and strength.

All of these individuals have taught me the importance of persistent questioning as a way to better understand self, others, and the world at large. Thank you for never answering the questions but instead, inspiring a passion within me to better understand the lived experiences of others. You have all enriched my life.