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ERIC Number: EJ913593
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Creating Social Justice in Early Childhood Education: A Case Study in Equity and Context
Christman, Dana E.
Journal of Research on Leadership Education, v5 n3.4 p107-137 May 2010
This case study presents a picture of an Early Childhood Education program at a large, research university located in the southwestern United States. This program was selected as it is known for its dedication to social justice issues. The study examines how such issues are purposefully woven into the program and cast against a framework for preparing socially-just pre-service educational administrators. This framework is made up of four essential components: (a) selection of students, (b) critical consciousness in teaching and learning, (c) proactive systems of support and inclusive structures, and (d) induction/praxis. Introduced as well is the context for the program at the university. Findings indicate that the program should (a) carefully examine whether students have a predisposition towards social justice before they actually enter the program, (b) create a critical consciousness involves introducing students to the language of critique and the language of possibility, (c) intentionally hire faculty who are committed to social justice is essential, and (d) purposefully structure the program so that students are exposed to a very broad concept of community. Although pockets of resistance were uncovered in both the larger department and the college in which the program resides, the program itself remains solidly committed to social justice. Staying connected to scholarship, to the children, to context, and to social justice remains essential to the goals of this program, and recognizing the program's areas for improvement is vital to the language of critique that the program uses. Recommendations include: (a) regularly revisiting social justice issues as they exist and emerge, (b) investigating the induction and praxis of new teachers, and (c) mentoring new graduates so that the experience is meaningful and infused with social justice.
Descriptors: Social Justice, Early Childhood Education, Young Children, Social Attitudes, Educational Administration, Administrator Education, Administrators, Cultural Pluralism, Consciousness Raising, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Selection, Resistance (Psychology)
University Council for Educational Administration. Web site: http://www.ucea.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A