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ERIC Number: EJ852631
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 67
ISSN: ISSN-1946-7109
Examining the Embedded Assumptions of Teaching for Social Justice in a Secondary Urban School: A Case-Study
Carlson, David Lee
Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education, v5 n1 Fall 2007
In this essay, I examine the underlying assumptions of one secondary English teacher, Sara, who professes to teach for social justice, in an urban school. My primary concern arises from a need to clarify what it means to teach for social justice in specific locations, and to look closely at what assumptions teachers have as they teach secondary students. I utilize the ethnographic tools of interview, document analysis, and classroom observation for this study. To read the data, I utilize Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to reveal that the Discourses of Working, Equity, and Schooling influence Sara's teaching for social justice. Finally, this essay illuminates the power relationships between students and the teacher in this particular classroom, specifically how these discourses are laced with the rhetoric of "white talk", which obscures and reinforces specific racist perspectives. This essay concludes with a call to dig deeply into our assumptions about teaching for social justice, specifically when we proclaim to do so in secondary English classrooms.
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A