Defining, Exploring, and Measuring Metacognitive Social Justice
This dissertation explores the concept and development of metacognitive social justice through three manuscripts. The first manuscript defines metacognitive social justice through an extensive literature review from prominent social justice scholars and theorists to find common themes that either explicitly or subtly permeate social justice content. Drawing from theory and empirical data, the first manuscript provides a foundation of this cognitive process that is relatable to all social justice scholarship, defining cognitive common ground. The themes found across the literature can be distilled to four metacognitive attributes found in "social justice thinking": (1) self-awareness through consciousness-raising, (2) value in the narratives of others, (3) awareness of unseen forces, and (4) questioning historical origins or intents.
The second manuscript is a qualitative analysis of the perception of self- proclaimed social justice thinkers, exploring how they define 'social justice thinking' and the role it plays in their daily choices and decision-making. Through thoroughly coded and analyzed transcripts of one-on-one, semi-structured interviews, this manuscript explores three other emergent themes of action, discomfort and community, as a well as the need for developing social justice thinkers, and highlights significant connections to the attributes in the first manuscript.
The third manuscript is a detailed description of the development of the metacognitive social justice survey for college undergraduates, a psychometric instrument designed to measure the metacognitive social justice attributes in individuals described in the theoretical manuscript. The instrument was found to be increasing in quantitative validity through two exploratory factor analyzes (EFA) with still room for improvement. Drawing on the questions developed so far, a final version of this psychometric instrument will provide a snapshot of what metacognitive social justice attributes are found in undergraduate classes and potentially to what extent. This is the first edition of the instrument, with the idea that the instrument should be ever evolving, becoming more accurate and valid, and carefully reworded for different audiences beyond college undergraduates.