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ERIC Number: EJ864324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Rescuing Social Justice in Education: A Critique of the NCATE Controversy
Heybach, Jessica
Philosophical Studies in Education, v40 p234-245 2009
In 2006 the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) removed the phrase "social justice" from its glossary definition of dispositions. Initially, many educators were disappointed by what seemed like an abrupt removal of this educational value. But in the years since, little has been said or done to understand what, exactly, happened behind the scenes to prompt NCATE to abandon its commitment to the value of social justice. In this paper, the author aims to both reconstruct the story of how this apparently controversial principal was quietly taken out of NCATE's glossary, and to examine the motives behind the decision to remove social justice from educational discourse. Why did these two words become a threat to so many policy makers? What do these words mean to those who acted to remove them? In the process of investigating this obscure bureaucratic action, the author discovered, among other things, that the claim of NCATE's political neutrality--a status it conveniently designates for itself--needs to be exposed as a demonstrable falsehood. First, the author wants to clarify the political intricacies of this bureaucratic exclusion. Once this background is clearly understood, she then addresses several questions: How should "social justice" be conceptualized? What ought to be the defining features of "social justice" education? In the concluding section, the author responds to these questions by describing two modes of social justice education, internal and external, which might permit teachers to embrace the values of social justice without the conventional trappings of political indoctrination. (Contains 31 notes.)
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A