David Jagusch

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Teacher Education

Committee Member

Ethan Lowenstein, PhD

Committee Member

Rebecca Martusewicz, PhD

Committee Member

Paul Joe Ramsey, PhD

Committee Member

Robert Rozema, PhD


Through the utilization of autoethnography and critical discourse analysis, this dissertation explores the applications of punk rock, its ethos and its philosophies, in the world of education. The overarching research questions driving the direction of this work are as follows: (a) What would an actualized punk pedagogy be characterized and defined as within the context of contemporary urban education in the United States? (b) How could such a pedagogy be applied in order to contest current inequalities and inequities that are the direct results of education being grounded in historical discourses of domination? and (c) How does punk relate to current radical pedagogies and philosophies of education, and can punk provide any added value to these theories? In order to establish what I refer to as the “pillars” of punk pedagogy, a thematic analysis was conducted of the lyrics of punk rock songs in order to identify common traits that define the punk scene and community. The results of this thematic coding resulted in six distinct pillars: active resistance, anti-domination, anti-conformity, emotional guidance, anti-violence, and tension and balance. Practical applications of punk pedagogy include, but are not limited to, a shift in educator ethos, the effects of image and appearance, curricular decision-making, and the transformation of pedagogical practices. Once established, punk pedagogy is then put into conversation with other radical pedagogies, including Critical Hip Hop pedagogy, Freire’s pedagogy of the oppressed, Giroux’s resistance pedagogies, and EcoJustice education. The final conclusions include the assertion that discourses and logics of domination are not inevitable and that the radical nature of the punk ethos has the power to combat the detrimental effects the intersection of various discourses has upon the contemporary state of education, regardless of students’ and teachers’ cultures, backgrounds, sociocultural demographics, and experiences.