ERIC Number: EJ852281
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 87
The Promise and Perils of Developing Democratic Literacy for Social Justice
North, Connie E.
Curriculum Inquiry, v39 n4 p555-579 Sep 2009
How do democratic practices relate to social justice in our classrooms? What risks to social justice might democratic classroom discussions pose? In this article, I respond to these questions by drawing upon educational scholarship and data from a qualitative study in four U.S. secondary classrooms on the meanings and implications of teaching for social justice. More specifically, I foreground how specific configurations of students, teachers, and school structures present both openings and barriers to the realization of democratic and socially just classrooms. In addition to emphasizing the value of Socratic seminars and deliberations, I assert that such structured discussions do not necessarily promote culturally relevant learning or challenge entrenched systems of oppression and domination. To address these tensions, I propose personal, pedagogical, and institutional strategies for advancing productive dialogues across difference that, although still rife with contradictions, hold promise for the reconstruction of a more democratic and just social order.
Descriptors: Social Justice, Educational Change, Literacy, Scholarship, Secondary Education, Educational Strategies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States