Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Creed, Benjamin M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)


This dissertation examined the term legal literacy as it applies to education, the state of legal literacy in educators today, and how that might be improved through lens self-efficacy. This dissertation is organized into four separate papers. Paper 1 is a review of the literature about legal literacy in both the field of education and in the legal field. Having determined in Paper 1 that teachers possess a low legal literacy, Paper 2 examined the role of pre-service teacher programs in exposing teaching candidates to legal topics. Having found in Paper 2 that pre-service undergraduate programs in the US do systemically expose teacher candidates to legal topics, Paper 3 sought to look at the Self-Efficacy Theory to see how we could development in-service professional development through that lens to increase the legal literacy of teachers and the likelihood that would act in legally appropriate ways. In Paper 4 all of the information in the first three papers is distilled and combined with adult learning theory to develop a professional development framework that practitioners in the field can use to develop workshops for in-service teachers to increase their legal literacy.


120 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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Media Type