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Understanding the Social Value of Solar Energy Production in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

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With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point in a political battle to determine the value and future

With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point in a political battle to determine the value and future of residential solar energy fees, which has critical implications for distributed generation. As the debate grows, it is clear that solar policies developed in Arizona will influence other state regulators regarding their solar rate structures and Net Energy Metering; however, there is a hindrance in the progress of this discussion due to the varying frameworks of the stakeholders involved. For this project, I set out to understand and analyze why the different stakeholders have such conflicting viewpoints. Some groups interpret energy as a financial and technological object while others view it is an inherently social and political issue. I conducted research in three manners: 1) I attended public meetings, 2) hosted interviews, and 3) analyzed reports and studies on the value of solar. By using the SRP 2015 Rate Case as my central study, I will discuss how these opposing viewpoints do or do not incorporate various forms of justice such as distributive, participatory, and recognition justice. In regards to the SRP Rate Case, I will look at both the utility- consumer relationship and the public meeting processes in which they interact, in addition to the pricing plans. This work reveals that antiquated utility structures and a lack of participation and recognition justice are hindering the creation of policy changes that satisfy both the needs of the utilities and the community at large.

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Date Created
2015-12

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ART PEDAGOGIES FOR YOUTH AND CONNECTIONS TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

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This project explores the function of art pedagogy as a tool for social justice, especially for youth. As a student pursuing the study of both education and social justice, the experience I've had in my life with art is hugely

This project explores the function of art pedagogy as a tool for social justice, especially for youth. As a student pursuing the study of both education and social justice, the experience I've had in my life with art is hugely connected with these themes. In this exploratory project, I examined different creative youth development programs through the perspectives of art educators, exploring how, pedagogically, they contribute to the formation of social justice in the communities and students they serve through the teaching and creation of art. I began with the research question, how do different creative youth development contribute to social justice in the communities and students they serve using art as a pedagogical approach? My goal in asking this question was to develop a picture of the art pedagogies employed in these programs, and their relation to the broader topic of social justice. Then, after reviewing the literature related to this topic, which is outlined in the next section, I identified three components of social justice related to art education: self expression, cultural identity exploration, and critical engagement. All of these concepts emerged time and time again when reviewing literature about art education and youth, and also art and social justice. Focusing on these concepts, I explored the question of how these components of social justice are explored in particular creative youth development programs. My goal in asking these questions is to develop a picture of the art pedagogies employed in these programs, and their relation to the broader topic of social justice. In order to ask these questions, it was important I access the art educators behind art programs whose impact is connected to art and social justice. Through their perspectives, I was able to gain incite about the design, implementation, and outcomes of art pedagogy. I found that these programs, in employing art pedagogies, were powerful tools in helping youth connect to themselves and their communities, aiding in the production of social justice.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Seeking redemption: lessons for confronting and undoing privilege

Description

Privilege is unearned advantages, access, and power reserved for a select group of people. Those that benefit from privilege manifest their power consciously and sub-consciously so as to maintain their exclusive control of the opportunities privilege affords them.

Privilege is unearned advantages, access, and power reserved for a select group of people. Those that benefit from privilege manifest their power consciously and sub-consciously so as to maintain their exclusive control of the opportunities privilege affords them. The reach and power of one’s privilege rises and falls as the different social identities that one possesses intersect. Ultimately, if a society built on justice and equity is to be achieved, those with privilege must take tangible steps to acknowledge their privilege and work to end the unequal advantages and oppression that are created in order to perpetuate privilege. This thesis unpacks privilege through an autoethnographic examination of the author’s history. Through the use of creative nonfiction, personal stories become launching points to explore characteristics of privilege manifest in the author’s life which are emblematic of larger social groups that share many of the author’s social identities. The following characteristics of privilege are explored: merit, oppression, normalization, economic value, neutrality, blindness, and silence.

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Date Created
2015

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Voices of social justice activist educators in Arizona

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The passing of anti-immigrant legislation in the state of Arizona over the last decade has exacerbated an already oppressive system perpetuated by globalization and its byproducts, neoliberalism and neoconservativism. The social justice activist educators who live and work with the

The passing of anti-immigrant legislation in the state of Arizona over the last decade has exacerbated an already oppressive system perpetuated by globalization and its byproducts, neoliberalism and neoconservativism. The social justice activist educators who live and work with the children and families most affected by these laws and policies must learn to navigate these controls if they hope to sustain their work. I have drawn from Freire's work surrounding the theories of praxis and conscientization to explain the motivation of these teachers, and the sociological theory of Communities of Practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998; & Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002), to explain how the group, Arizona Teachers for Justice serves as a space of learning and support for these educators. This dissertation is a multiple case study and has employed semi-structured interviews with four social justice activist educators to understand how social justice activist educators in Arizona cope and sustain their teaching and activism, particularly through their membership in groups such as Arizona Teachers for Justice. The teachers in this study are each at different stages in their careers and each teaches in a different setting and/or grade level. This cross section provides multiple perspectives and varied lenses through which to view the struggles and triumphs of social justice activist educators in the state of Arizona. The teachers in this study share their experiences of being singled out for their activism and explain the ways they cope with such attacks. They explain how they manage to fulfill their dedication to equity by integrating critical materials while adhering to common core standards. They express the anger that keeps them fighting in the streets and the fears that keep them from openly rejecting unjust policies. The findings of this study contribute to the discussion of how to not only prepare social justice activist educators, but ways of supporting and sustaining their very crucial work. Neoliberal and neoconservative attacks on education are pervasive and it is critical that we prepare teachers to face these structural pressures if we hope to ever change the dehumanizing agenda of these global powers.

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Date Created
2013