Educational Policy Studies & Practice

Emancipatory Education

The Emancipatory Education graduate minor is focused on encouraging P-20 educational leaders across all sectors (e.g., teachers, faculty, administrators, and policymakers) to develop liberatory approaches to education. The overarching goal of the minor is to encourage students to be active participants in seeking transformative educational praxis, which involves moving beyond identifying problems and challenges and toward creative approaches to improving educational systems and practices. The Emancipatory Education minor invites students to actively question, interrogate, and envision new educational horizons, rather than reproducing the increasingly inequitable ground upon which education has been built.

The courses that comprise the Emancipatory Education graduate minor seek to accomplish this vision through a transdisciplinary approach to the process, practice, and study of education. Specifically, classes in the minor will address topics including, but not limited to: 

  • Race, racialization, and antiracism
  • Antiblackness
  • Indigenous methodologies
  • Activist- and action-oriented theorizing and research methods
  • Critical and postmodern (and decolonial) approaches to understanding gender
  • Liberatory models of education across K-12 and postsecondary contexts
  • Migration, borders, nationality, and Indigeneity as they influence education
  • Critical approaches to disability and its resultant effects on education
  • Culturally-responsive and culturally-sustaining pedagogical and organizational praxis

It is also worth noting that even students without any previous experience in education could be successful in this new minor and all classes are designed to be accessible to students coming from various disciplinary backgrounds.

Develop liberatory approaches to education for P-20 educational leaders across multiple sectors
Learn to actively engage in the process of questioning and envisioning new educational horizons, aiming for a departure from traditional inequities towards more just educational practices
Apply critical thinking to actively engage in seeking solutions for transforming educational systems and practices


Sample Courses

This 18-unit minor requires a minimum of 9 upper division (300-400 level) units. Through this program, you will take courses from top scholars in a variety of subjects, including:

  • EDL 604: Culturally Responsive Leadership
  • EDL 626: Leadership for Social Justice
  • EDL 625: Leadership for the School and Diverse Community
  • EDL 627: Leadership for Organizational Change
  • EDL 696: Educational Ethnography
  • EDL 696: Youth Leadership
  • HED 626: Culturally Responsive Pedagogies
  • HED 628: Theories of Inequality, Oppression, and Social Stratification
  • HED 629: Whiteness and Education
  • TLS 633/HED 633: Introduction to Critical Race Theory in Education
  • HED 642: Gender & Education


Graduates of the Emancipatory Education minor are uniquely positioned to pursue a wide range of impactful careers in the education sector and beyond. They are well-suited for roles as innovative educators, curriculum developers, and educational consultants who emphasize equitable and inclusive practices. These individuals may also excel in administrative positions, including school principals, district leaders, and policy advisors, where they can influence educational policy and practice on a broader scale. Additionally, their skills in critical thinking and creative problem-solving prepare them for careers in non-profit organizations and advocacy groups, working towards educational reform and community empowerment. Their deep understanding of liberatory approaches also opens opportunities in higher education as faculty members or researchers, further contributing to the discourse on transforming education systems for the better.

Contact Us

For more information please contact Dawn Demps.