Date of Award


Degree Type

Certificate of Advanced Study


Connecticut Literacy Specialist


Dr. Karen C. Waters


This action research sought ways to maximize secondary social studies teachers’ instructional time and merge their core functions as literacy, content and social-justice instructors. Drawing on a wide literature demonstrating potent correlation between requisite vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension, this action research investigated the potential interface between explicit literacy instruction, particularly robust vocabulary instruction, and democratic citizenship, while keeping in mind the intent of the Common Core Standards. In other words: is it possible to fuse robust vocabulary instruction to achieve transformative citizenship? Data collection included multiple in-person and digital interviews with veteran K-12 teachers, administrators and university professors about their views on social justice, literacy instruction, and potential connections between the two. Results indicated that while secondary social studies educators value both literacy and social justice, they do not employ systematic literacy or social justice pedagogy to achieve their goals. However, the limited sample, in terms of numbers, convenience, and lack of racial diversity calls for further investigation.


Prepared for EDR 692 Applied Reading and Language Arts Research. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the coursework required for the post-masters' Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Literacy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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