Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


David Reid, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Blissett, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Constance McCue, Ed.D.


Student Efficacy and Advocacy


This study examines the perceptions of a faculty after the interdisciplinary implementation of a human rights education platform in the context of moral efficacy in the student body. The teachers participated in a year-long professional learning community (PLC) focused on bringing human rights issues into regular classroom dialogue, modeled after the United Nations human rights education effort. This study considers the following questions: (1) How do teachers perceive the implementation of human rights discussions into their curriculum influences their students’ awareness of human rights issues? (2) In what ways, if any, do teachers perceive a difference in their students’ empathy before and after the implementation of the faculty professional learning community (PLC) during the 2017-2018 school year?

Through a qualitative research design, the study utilized a narrative research method with semi-structured interviews of faculty who taught prior to or during the implementation of the PLC. Four themes emerged: (1) increased awareness in the student body of human rights and global issues that exist in the world, (2) increased compassion in discussions about violations of human rights as well as increased kindness toward one another, (3) a culture of change in school regarding activism and involvement in Christian service and advocacy initiatives, and (4) increased knowledge amongst the faculty that subsequently is implemented into the lessons and classroom. The findings suggest that properly training faculty to incorporate human rights discussions and associated assignments into the classroom translates into increased awareness and compassion amongst the school population, students and teachers alike.