Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



University Press of Colorado, Utah State University Press


In 2012, in Tucson, Arizona, conservative Superintendent of Education Tom Horne used House Bill (HB) 2281 to outlaw Tucson High School’s Mexican American Studies (TUSD/MAS) program. Despite demonstrated increases in graduation rates and state test scores (Cabrera, Milem, and Marx 2012), the social justice program was dismantled and books from the curriculum were banned, including Paulo Freire’s (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. As teacher-scholars concerned with critical consciousness1 and the application of social justice theories to the classroom, we found these events highly disturbing and demonstrative of what Angela Haas and Michelle Eble refer to in the Introduction of this collection as “the mess of injustice in our own backyards” (11). In the TUSD/MAS program, we saw how a model of social justice pedagogy at a programmatic level can have a positive impact on underrepresented student populations. For us, this model provoked questions about implementing social justice practices into our own technical communication assignments, courses, and program. However, TUSD/MAS was also a cautionary tale: even the most successful social justice pedagogies, curricula, and programs can come under perennial critique by those who feel threatened by teaching critical engagement with the unequal distribution of privilege.

Chapter of

Key Theoretical Frameworks: Teaching Technical Communication in the Twenty-First Century


Angela M. Haas
Michelle F. Eble



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