Masters Theses/Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Reading (MAE)

First Committee Member

Susan Constable


Susan Constable

Second Committee Member

Daniel Cho

Third Committee Member

Bethany Vosburg-Bluem


Liberating Pedagogy, Paulo Freire, SPIRE, Incoherence Literacy Theory, Critical Literacy Theory

Subject Categories

Higher Education | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education


Using the philosophy of liberation from the Brazilian philosopher and teacher Paulo Freire, I formulated the following guiding questions for my research: 1) how is dialogue facilitated within SPIRE, and 2) how is critical action reflected in the reading content of SPIRE? Using these questions as my guide, I synthesized literature surrounding critical literacies and liberation to provide background for readers. In addition, I researched the SPIRE curriculum by reading the materials I use within my classroom and utilized the SPIRE Curriculum website to aide in formulation of curriculum background. To analyze SPIRE, along with other prepackaged curriculums, I created a set of codes. These codes were derived from the idea of Praxis: dialogue and critical action. These codes were created to analyze the systematic phonics program titled, “S.P.I.R.E” to examine the extent to which SPIRE is a curriculum that allows students to achieve liberation. Analysis showed that the program was in fact, monological because of a preponderance of Teacher-Led Instruction, and the code Reading the Word was majority used to form critical action. Results led me to question how to engage students in liberation from the oppression of 21st century schooling and to a discussion on how to provide students with opportunities for open ended questioning and teacher critical action: critical reflection.

Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use

trevor_rick_841.mp4 (6371 kB)
Video Presentation



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