Student Voices! Curriculum Studies Doctoral Student – Kendrick Johnson

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Kendrick Johnson, a doctoral student in Curriculum Studies, and a Fellow for the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning and Dialogue discusses his experiences at DePaul.

Pursuing an Ed.D. in Curriculum Studies at DePaul University has been beyond fulfilling, both personally and professionally. The professors nurture students as scholars and practitioners, and they also nurture the human spirit!  I must admit that after hearing some of the ominous stories about academic hazing from some of my friends and colleagues at other institutions, I was nervous about pursuing this doctoral endeavor.

However, those fears were dispelled once I enrolled at DePaul; my experience has been everything but scary. Yes, the faculty sets high expectations, but they offer the appropriate balance of support needed for students. In this way, students experience the rigor of doctoral work, while having advocates cheering for them every step of the way. For that, I am grateful.

In addition, I was attracted to the Curriculum Studies program because of its social justice orientation. Working in a high-needs school district, it was imperative for me that the program offer a balance of theory and practice, which, indeed, it does.  Moreover, it is refreshing to be a part of a diverse student body, not just culturally, but professionally as well. These dynamics have allowed me to cultivate lasting friendships with others from all walks of life, who still share a common vision:  to effect meaningful change in our current educational system. The passion I sense from both students and professors is undeniable.

Even after a long day at work, I still look forward to each class session because I know that the dialogue will push my thinking around critical matters such as the purpose of schooling, multicultural education, civic engagement, power and education, and reflective praxis.  I am proud to be a part of the College of Education’s legacy of producing socially-conscious, culturally-competent, transformative educators!

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