Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Joseph L. Polman

Second Advisor

Ben Kirshner

Third Advisor

Aachey S. Jurow


In this thesis I used the lens of Critical Educational Psychology to examine the effects of the application of mainstream educational practices on my personal school experience, the experiences of my family, and on the learning and identity development of children more broadly. I reflect on how my personal education experiences have transformed my identity as a student, educator and parent. I used Critical Historical Inquiry to question how the shared policies, practices and values such as standardized testing and self-regulated learning programs in American public schools aim to shape specific types of persons with the specific purpose of fulfilling a capitalist agenda and perpetuating social stratification. I suggest Educational Psychology has helped to create an ideology that influences educator’s values, practices and personal assumptions concerning students. These applications in turn directly impact student identity development and create unequal learning opportunities that influence a student’s academic trajectory towards success or failure. Suggestions for an alternative approach are made.