Article

Theoretical foundations for social justice education.

ABSTRACT This chapter contextualizes the approach to oppression and social justice taken throughout this book. It provides a framework for readers who approach oppression and social justice from other positions to see what approaches we share, and where we differ. Our intention is to foster a broad and continuing dialogue among the many people who struggle, as we do, to find more effective ways to challenge oppressive systems and promote social justice through education. The chapter examines the enduring and the ever-changing aspects of oppression by tracing ways in which "commonsense" knowledge and assumptions make it difficult to see oppression clearly. We underscore the value of history for discerning patterns, often invisible in daily life, that reflect systemic aspects of oppression as it functions in different periods and contexts. We propose concepts that enable us to freeze and focus on specific forms of oppression in our teaching while staying cognizant of the shifting kaleidoscope of dynamic and complex social processes in which they are embedded. As historical circumstances change and newly emerging social movements take up issues of oppression in the United States and throughout the world, new definitions and understandings will evolve. Through highlighting the historical and contextual nature of this process here, we hope to avoid the danger of reifying systems of oppression as static or treating individuals as unidimensional and unchanging. History illustrates both how tenacious and variable systems of oppression are and how dynamic and creative we must continue to be to rise to the challenges they pose. The concepts and processes we present in this text are also continuously evolving. We hope the work presented in this second edition will contribute to an ongoing dialogue about social justice education theory and practice in ways that can have more potent and sustained impacts for justice, fairness and equality in our world. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

10 Bookmarks
 · 
1,190 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article explores the challenges facing the South African National Department of Education in its commitment to provide equal educational opportunities for all. The Story of Nothemba is central to the theme of this paper. It describes the story of a South African girl born in eQebe, whose physical disability and systematic disregard for her constitutional rights dashed her life time dream and passion to become a lawyer in a democratic South Africa. The paper argues for a critical interrogation of the following dynamics that have the potential to complicate both the implementation and optimization of the Inclusive Education Policy: (i) Understanding the social stereotypes about disability, (ii) Teacher empowerment, (iii) Systemic imbalance between support and expectations, (iv) Adopting relevant curriculum policy and assessment strategies and practices, and (v) Utilizing the research logic to inform policy implementation. The paper further calls for a robust interrogation at conceptual level about ‘disability' to inform the current policies on education and training, teacher training and development, curriculum and assessment strategies.
    Education Policy Analysis Archives. 01/2005;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While the concepts related to diversity and inclusion are commonly found as part of universities’ mission and vision, implementing these concepts into practice can present a challenge. This study identified discrepancies between concepts and practice of diversity and inclusion at a multidisciplinary health sciences university. The results indicated that participants experienced inclusion along a range of engagement. Hispanic/Latino students, faculty, and staff as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students and staff experienced disparaging behavior on a regular basis at the University, which contributed to fear. The results demonstrate barriers to the inclusion efforts and indicate that the university must bridge the gap between diversity concepts and practice.
    SAGE Open. 3(2).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Incl. bibl. Transforming schools into truly egalitarian institutions requires a holistic and integrated approach. Using a robust conception of 'equality of condition', we examine key dimensions of equality that are central to both the purposes and processes of education: equality in educational and related resources; equality of respect and recognition; equality of power; and equality of love, care and solidarity. We indicate in each case some of the major changes that need to occur if we are to promote equality of condition. Starting with inequalities of resources, and in particular with inequalities tied to social class, we argue for abandoning rigid grouping policies, challenging the power of parents in relation to both selection and grouping, and changing curricula and assessment systems to make them more inclusive of the wide range of human intelligences. In relation to respect and recognition, we call for much more inclusive processes for respecting differences, not only in schools' organizational cultures, but also in their curriculum, pedagogy and assessment systems. Regarding inequalities of power, we call for democratization of both teacher-student relationships and school and college organization. For promoting equality of love, care and solidarity, we argue that schools need to develop an appreciation of the intrinsic role that emotions play in the process of teaching and learning, to provide a space for students and teachers to talk about their feelings and concerns, and to devise educational experiences that will enable students to develop their emotional skills or personal intelligences as a discrete area of human capability.
    Theory and Research in Education 01/2005;