What Have We Learned? Teacher Agency for Social Justice amid the Traumatic Crisis with the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mina Min, Rachel Nelson, Elizabeth Bellows
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The unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic caused school disruptions by negatively affecting most students’ academic performance. However, the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on students in high-need and disadvantaged communities. Before the pandemic, some teachers who demonstrated a social justice-oriented agency chose to implement Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP) in their educational practices to support the academic successes of students from underrepresented backgrounds. However, little is known about how teachers exercised their agency to use CRP during the global health crisis. This qualitative study explores how teachers who had leveraged CRP in the past have worked to sustain their efforts to implement the pedagogy during the national crisis caused by the pandemic. 28 high school teachers were interviewed, and their accounts were analyzed using a constant comparative approach based on grounded theory. Findings illustrate how the teachers practiced CRP before COVID-19, what challenges they confronted in implementing the pedagogy, and how they negotiated their agency to sustain their efforts for promoting social justice. Findings are discussed from a trauma-informed education perspective by providing scholars, educators, and policymakers with valuable theoretical and practical implications for better-supporting students from minoritized families and communities. 


Covid-19 Pandemic; Culturally Respnosive Pedagogy; Trauma-informed education; Teacher agency for social justice

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Min, M., Nelson, R., & Bellows, E. (2024). What have we learned? Teacher agency for social justice amid the traumatic crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal on Studies in Education (IJonSE), 6(1), 67-84. https://doi.org/10.46328/ijonse.182

DOI: https://doi.org/10.46328/ijonse.182


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International Journal on Studies in Education (IJonSE) - ISSN: 2690-7909

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