Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Education and Human Development
Mikel W. Cole
Immediately following the 2016 election, teachers reported a previously-unseen level of animosity from their students mimicking the rhetoric of President Trump, often verbatim. The combination of racial, ethnic, religious, and bias-motivated bullying and language has been referred to as the “Trump Effect” in the media and among educators (Nygreen, Lazdowski, & Bialostok, 2017). While teachers in all subject areas may have the potential to address this dehumanizing rhetoric, this study focused on foreign/world language (FL) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), which are areas that have not been thoroughly explored as a particularly important and relevant site for change in which to address the problem.
Following a mixed methods explanatory sequential design (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2017), the first phase employed a nationwide survey of K-12 FL and ESOL teachers from a variety of teaching contexts and demographics. The results show that teachers’ experiences with sociopolitical hostility in their school combined with their beliefs in a social justice pedagogy were significant predictors of taking action in the classroom. Then, qualitative follow-up interviews shed light on the actions that were ultimately taken. These actions were labeled: Classroom permeability and possibility; curricula as safe harbor; and discursive approach to social justice pedagogy. Key implications of the study include the need to dismiss the notion of “neutrality” in teaching and, instead, embrace teaching as a form of resistance.
Madison Schenck, Stephanie, "The Trump Effect and the Damage Done: A Mixed Methods Study Exploring Sociopolitical Hostility and Teacher Responses in Language Classrooms" (2020). All Dissertations. 2583.