ERIC Number: EJ925898
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 67
Understanding Education for Social Justice
Hytten, Kathy; Bettez, Silvia C.
Educational Foundations, v25 n1-2 p7-24 Win-Spr 2011
It has become increasingly common for education scholars to claim a social justice orientation in their work. At the same time, education programs seem to be adding statements about the importance of social justice to their mission, and a growing number of teacher education programs are fundamentally oriented around a vision of social justice. Despite all the talk about social justice, it is often unclear in any practical terms what one means when he/she invokes a vision of social justice or how this influences such issues as program development, curricula, practicum opportunities, educational philosophy, social vision, and activist work. In this article, the authors intend to sort through the social justice literature in education in order to develop a better understanding of what this work is all about and why it is important. Better understanding the types of work done under the banner of social justice may help educators to more productively work together across differences and amid the variety of ways they are committed to social justice. Here the authors share Carlson and Dimitriadis's (2003) desire to develop a more powerful and "strategically unified progressive vision of what education can and should be" that ideally can emerge when educators find ways to work together despite different passions and while keeping alive real tensions. Throughout the article, the authors aim to provide some useful orientation and framework to characterize what has been written about education for social justice and the theories, passions and agendas that inform it. They offer five broad strands or usages of social justice in the education literature. They provide an entry point into the literature that can help educators to better understand and frame some of their goals in working for social justice.
Descriptors: Social Justice, Educational Philosophy, Educational Change, Educational Practices, Ethnography, Narration, Literature Reviews, Educational Theories, Democratic Values, Definitions, Fundamental Concepts, Educational Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A