Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Thomasina Hassler


Thomasina Hassler

Shenita Mayes

JaNae' Alfred


This dissertation presents the anti-fascist Critical Participatory Action Research (CPAR) process of three doctoral student participants/co-researchers, all practicing educators, with varied experiences in public and private education at the middle school, high school, and collegiate level. This research examines the convergence of the participants/co-researchers in response to their shared concerns about ascendent authoritarianism and rising repression and the subsequent formation of this study’s in-process CPAR research collective organized to critically counter, rather than reiterate, this repression.

Enacting the theoretical/methodological frameworks of Critical Theory and Habermas’s Theory of Communicative Action, the participants/co-researchers dialogically determined contemporary fascism to be the focus of this study and elected to conduct CPAR as a means to further investigate fascism within the collective local context of St. Louis schools. Seeking to put theory into practice, the research collective engaged the emergent, people-powered, possibilities of CPAR as a counter to fascism.

The research collective recorded and transcribed their CPAR meeting conversations as the primary source of evidence analyzed for this study. Implementing a collaborative-polyvocal-autoethnographic approach, thematic analysis reveals a Freirean-Fromm counter-frame of death or life—Fascist Necrophily problem—Anti-Fascist Biophily counter. Honoring the anti-oppressive aims of CPAR, implications for further anti-fascist actions are considered.