Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

International/Intercultural Studies

Reader 1

Dr. Azamat Junisbai

Reader 2

Dr. Sharon Snowiss

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


This study is a collection of strategies and practices utilized by ten high school teachers to inspire their students to engage with their critical consciousness as well as think critically about the world and their lived realities. Through this research, the study seeks to better understand how high school teachers create environments within their classrooms in which students question what exists, reflect on their own identities relative to the world, and engage in inspiragination. To examine this, 10 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with high school teachers were conducted via phone or Zoom. After cross-analyzing the interview transcripts, 10 themes arose relative to teachers encouraging their students to engage with their critical consciousness. These include, but are not limited to, 1) teachers should cultivate content so that students find it relevant to their lives 2) there should be effort, energy, and intention placed into building relationships with one’s students 3) don’t be afraid to share your story 4) the physical layout of the learning environment should be humanizing 5) life is contradictory and complex: teach it that way 6) psychological and physical safety should be a top priority 7) approaches to discipline and utilizing your real and assumed power 8) teaching as a political act? 9) these things may burn you out: here’s what they are and some mitigation strategies 10) inspiragination: a fluid concept. Additionally, the findings suggest that teaching is not ‘perfect-able’ – while one can implement and be cognizant of these themes, strategies, and practices (and more!), it is important to recognize that your own unique being combined with a particular group of students is not replicable... so go get ‘em!

Streaming Media