Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Charol Shakeshaft


A COMPARISON OF LEGAL LITERACY AMONG TEACHER SUBGROUPS By Candace Partridge Mirabile, Ph. D. A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University. Virginia Commonwealth University, 2013 Charol Shakeshaft, Ph.D., Professor, Educational Leadership, School of Education This study determined the level of legal literacy among classroom teachers in a suburban metropolitan division in Virginia. I have focused on aspects of the law that relate to student safety and student rights, and my operational definition of legal literacy is the understanding of these laws. The results from 239 respondents indicated that teachers in this division are not knowledgeable of essential legal content specific to student/teacher interactions. The mean percent of correct answers hovered at the 50% mark on a survey of 20 true/false questions related to landmark cases, important legislation, and Virginia law. I was unable to trace legal literacy to a particular demographic, and I concluded that more than half of the respondents had received no training in legal issues. I propose that Virginia’s licensure requirements be upgraded to include competence in legal literacy because knowledge of law is among the standards of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2008). Based on comments from respondents to my survey, teachers are interested in learning more about education law.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2013