This research project will study the social justice pathway and political polarization. The research will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will be an experiment measuring the blind party alliance of students and then conducting interviews with the teachers of the classes. The least blind party alliance and finding will show how teachers create classrooms where students feel comfortable sharing a wide variety of political views. The second phase will create a report to advise teachers of how they can make their classrooms less politically polarized, and evaluate whether social justice or non-social justice classes are more or less polarized.
My project was inspired by my own experience forming political opinions in High School. In the Social Justice pathway, which I have participated in for the last three years, I was often surrounded by many students who had the same liberal opinions as I did. I was curious to understand how this homogenous political culture had affected me, and if my experience in Social Justice was different from my peers. I hope to show teachers how to create an unpolarized classroom environment, and create more politically active Palo Alto High School students.