Social Justice Education

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Contents

Social Justice Education

Link to Complete Bibliography
For a complete bibliography, please visit the CTLT's shared folder on Refworks.

Having problems? Visit the RefWorks information guide.


  • Adams, M., Bell, L. A., & Griffin, P. (2007). Teaching for diversity and social justice. New York, NY: Routledge. Ubc-elink.png
  • Applebaum, B. (2004). Social justice education, moral agency, and the subject of resistance. Educational Theory, 54(1), 59-72.Permalink.svg Permalink

This paper explores the concept of white complicity and provides illustrations of how traditional conceptions of moral agency support the denial of such complicity. Judith Butler's conception of subjectivity is then examined with the aim of assessing its usefulness as a foundation for social justice pedagogy. Butler's conception of subjectivity is of interest because it offers insights into how dominant group identities are unintentionally complicit in the perpetuation of hegemonic social norms. Finally, I show the implications of Butler's conception of self and agency for social justice pedagogy.

  • Ayers, W., Quinn, T., & Stovall, D. (2009). Handbook of social justice in education. New York, NY: Routledge.Ubc-elink.png
  • Brown, E. L., & Gibbons, P. E. (2011). Ethnicity and race: Creating educational opportunities around the globe. international advances in education: Global initiatives for equity and social justice IAP - Information Age Publishing, Inc.Permalink.svg Permalink

This volume of Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice takes a resource perspective toward culture, ethnicity, and race. Its purpose is to foster global dialog about race and ethnicity, with an emphasis on sharing strategies and solutions. Chapters grapple with complexities such as tensions among colonization, nation building, and ethnic identity. Chapters explore potentials of information technology for opening access to education and building dialogue across differences.

  • Cammarota, J., & Romero, A. (2011). Participatory action research for high school students: Transforming policy, practice, and the personal with social justice education. Educational Policy, 25(3), 488-506.Ubc-elink.png

The authors discuss how participatory action research (PAR) informs the pedagogy and epistemology of the social justice education. PAR facilitates students' engagement in their social context and acquisition of knowledge to initiate personal and social transformation. The scope of research contains knowledge about social justice issues negatively influencing the students' experiences. This knowledge is essential for what has been described as social justice youth development in which young people participate in practices geared toward achieving an egalitarian world with safe, vibrant neighborhoods that support healthy, positive youth identities.

  • Farnsworth, V. (2010). Conceptualizing identity, learning and social justice in community-based learning. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 26(7), 1481-1489.Permalink.svg Permalink

This paper explores the process of learning to become a social justice teacher, drawing in particular on Bakhtin's notions of dialogue in order to theorize pre-service teachers' identity negotiations. Interpretations of learning and identity are based on the content of pre-service teachers' narratives about community-based learning. Supported by theoretically-sensitive ways of conceptualizing identity and social justice, the author develops an understanding of the ways pre-service teachers shape their identities through participating in community events. Implications for teacher education, in terms of the design and pedagogic practices, are presented with the intent of enabling the realization of social justice teacher education.

  • Gewirtz, S. (1998). Conceptualizing social justice in education: Mapping the territory. Journal of Education Policy, 13(4), 469-484.Ubc-elink.png
  • Gewirtz, S. (2006). Towards a contextualized analysis of social justice in education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 38(1), 69-81.Conceptualizing social justice in education: Mapping the territory. Journal of Education Policy, 13(4), 469-484.Ubc-elink.png

This paper builds on Iris Young's work to argue that social justice in education has to be understood in relation to particular contexts of enactment. More specifically, the author argues that it is not possible to make cross‐national or other comparative assessments of social justice without consideration of the ways in which justice is enacted in practice. The contextualized approach to justice that the author is advocating involves: first a recognition of the multi‐dimensional nature of justice and the potential for conflict between different facets of justice; second, attention to the ways in which concerns of justice are mediated by the other norms and constraints that motivate actors; and third, a consideration of the way in which contradictions between different facets of justice and these other norms and between justice concerns and the constraints that compete with justice are differentially shaped by the levels and settings in which the actors are operating.

  • Goodman, D. (2001). Promoting diversity and social justice: Educating people from privileged groups. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Available in the CTLT Resource Room. Ubc-elink.png
  • Hickling-Hudson, A. (2006). Cultural complexity, post-colonialism and educational change: Challenges for comparative educators. International Review of Education, 52(1), 201-218.Permalink.svg Permalink

This study explores various elements in the struggle for a post-colonial refashioning of cultural identity through education. Drawing on experiences in Australia and the Caribbean, the author illustrates how educational systems undergoing decolonisation reflect socio-cultural tensions of race and power. The author discusses the complexities for comparative educators in engaging with suppressed knowledge, recognising the yearnings of the marginalised, challenging the conditions that lead to poverty, and refashioning education for social justice in an era when the achievement of justice seems increasingly difficult. She argues that comparative educators can benefit from using post-colonial thinking to understand cultural complexity and promote life-affirming practices in educational change.

  • Keddie, A. (2012). Educating for diversity and social justice. New York, NY: Routledge. Ubc-elink.png

This book foregrounds the personal stories of educators who are engaging the space of schooling as a site of possibility for realizing the goals of social justice. It is a book inspired by a vision of education as a practice of freedom where young people--especially those who are marginalized--can learn that they have a voice and the power to change their world for the better. This book examines issues of justice and schooling in relation to three dimensions: political, cultural and economic. While its focus is on research within three Australian case study schools, the book provides an international perspective of these dimensions of justice in western education contexts as they impact on the schooling performance of marginalized students. Towards greater equity for these students, the book presents a comprehensive scaffold for thinking about and addressing issues of schooling, diversity and social justice. Through practical examples from the case study research, the book illustrates the complexities and possibilities associated with schools providing inclusive environments where marginalized voices are heard (political justice), where marginalized culture is recognized and valued (cultural justice) and where marginalized students are supported to achieve academically towards accessing the material benefits of society (economic justice).

  • Kelly, D. M., & Brandes, G. M. (2010). "Social justice needs to be everywhere": Imagining the future of anti-oppression education in teacher preparation. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 56(4), 388-402.Permalink.svg Permalink

This article analyzes a social-justice teacher education project in a larger teacher education program in Western Canada. This program-within-a-program took an anti-oppressive education approach designed to help teacher candidates to understand and challenge various forms of inequity and their interconnections.

  • Miller, S. J., & Kirkland, D. E. (2010). Change matters: Critical essays on moving social justice research from theory to policy. critical qualitative research. Volume 1 Peter Lang New York.Ubc-elink.png

"Change Matters," provides you with a framework that pivots social justice toward policy. The chapters in this volume detail rationales about generating social justice theory in what Freire calls "the revolutionary process" through essays that support research about teaching about the intersections between teaching for social change and teaching about social injustices, and directs us toward the significance of enacting social justice methodologies. The text unpacks how education, spiritual beliefs, ethnicity, age, gender, ability, social class, political beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression, language, national origin, and education intersect with the principles by which we live and the multiple identities that we embody as we move from space to space. This book is critical reading for anyone who strives to cease inequitable schooling practices by conducting research in education to inform more just policies.

  • Moore, F. M. (2008). Agency, identity, and social justice education: Preservice teachers' thoughts on becoming agents of change in urban elementary science classrooms. Research in Science Education, 38(5), 589-610.Permalink.svg Permalink

Using multiple theoretical frameworks, reflective writings and interviews, this study explores preservice elementary teachers' emerging identities as science teachers and how this identity is connected to notions of critical agency and a stance toward social justice. The study addresses two central questions pertaining to preservice teachers' conceptions as "agents of change" and how their perceptions as change agents frame their science teacher identities and understanding of teaching science in urban elementary classrooms. Their identity in the moment as elementary preservice teachers--not yet teachers--influences how they view themselves as teachers and how much agency or power they feel they have as agents of change in science classrooms. Findings suggest that science teacher education must play a more immediate, fundamental and emancipatory role in preparing preservice teachers in developing science teacher identities and a stance toward social justice.

  • Riddell, S. (2009). Social justice, equality and inclusion in Scottish education. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 30(3), 283-296.Permalink.svg Permalink

Social justice, equality and inclusion are complex and inter-linked concepts and feature prominently in Scottish social policy rhetoric. This paper begins with an overview of the discourses surrounding these concepts and the ways in which they are used in Scottish education policy, which, in general, is founded on principles of universalism.

  • Selby, D., & Goldstein, T. (2000). Weaving connections: Educating for peace, social and environmental justice. Toronto, Canada: Sumach Press. Ubc-elink.png
  • Sensoy, O., & DiAngelo, R. (2011). Is everyone really equal?: An introduction to key concepts in social justice education. Multicultural education series. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.CTLT Resource Room

This practical handbook will introduce readers to social justice education, providing tools for developing "critical social justice literacy" and for taking action towards a more just society. Accessible to students from high school through graduate school, this book offers a collection of detailed and engaging explanations of key concepts in social justice education, including critical thinking, socialization, group identity, prejudice, discrimination, oppression, power, privilege, and White supremacy.

  • Tharp, D. S. (2012). Perspectives: A language for social justice. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 44(3), 21-23. Ubc-elink.png

The author identifies six essential social-justice terms that educators must understand and become comfortable with using: privilege, oppression, cultural salience, intersectionality, critical consciousness, and social equity. He argues that educators are responsible for equipping their students with these terms so that they become able to name problems arising from unequal social systems and to speak and act against popular beliefs that perpetuate oppression.

Social Justice Pedagogy

Link to Complete Bibliography
For a complete bibliography, please visit the CTLT's shared folder on Refworks.

Having problems? Visit the RefWorks information guide.


  • Applebaum, B. (2008). "Doesn't my experience count?" white students, the authority of experience and social justice pedagogy. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 11(4), 405-414.Permalink.svg Permalink
  • Bettez, S. C. (2011). Building critical communities amid the uncertainty of social justice pedagogy in the graduate classroom. Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, 33(1), 76-106.Permalink.svg Permalink
  • Beyerbach, B., & Davis, R. D. (2011). Activist art in social justice pedagogy: Engaging students in glocal issues through the arts. counterpoints: Studies in the postmodern theory of education. volume 403 Peter Lang New York.Permalink.svg Permalink
  • Cammarota, J. (2011). From hopelessness to hope: Social justice pedagogy in urban education and youth development. Urban Education, 46(4), 828-844.Permalink.svg Permalink
  • Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th anniversary ed.). New York, NY: Continuum. Available in the CTLT Resource RoomUbc-elink.png
  • Gibson, R. (1999). Paulo freire and pedagogy for social justice. Theory and Research in Social Education, 27(2), 129-59.Permalink.svg Permalink
  • hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York, NY: Routledge. Ubc-elink.png
  • Jackson, L. (2008). Dialogic pedagogy for social justice: A critical examination. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 27(2-3), 137-148.Permalink.svg Permalink
  • McLaren, P. (2010). A critical pedagogy of social justice for today's workers. Teacher Education and Practice, 23(4), 482-487.Permalink.svg Permalink


Anti-oppressive Education

Link to Complete Bibliography
For a complete bibliography, please visit the CTLT's shared folder on Refworks.

Having problems? Visit the RefWorks information guide.


  • Kumashiro, K. K. (2000). Teaching and learning through desire, crisis, and difference: Perverted reflections on anti-oppressive education. Radical Teacher, (58), 6.Ubc-elink.png
  • Kumashiro, K. K. (2000). Toward a theory of anti-oppressive education. Review of Educational Research, 70(1), 25-53.Ubc-elink.png
  • Kumashiro, K. K. (2001). "Posts" perspectives on anti-oppressive education in social studies, english, mathematics, and science classrooms. Educational Researcher, 30(3), 3-12.Ubc-elink.png
  • Kumashiro, K. K. (2001). Troubling intersections of race and sexuality: Queer students of color and anti-oppressive education. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Ubc-elink.png
  • Kumashiro, K. K. (2004). Uncertain beginnings: Learning to teach paradoxically. Theory into Practice, 43(2), 111-115.Ubc-elink.png
  • Kumashiro, K. K., Baber, S. A., Richardson, E., Ricker‐Wilson, C., & Wong, P. L. (2004). Preparing teachers for Anti‐oppressive education: International movements. Teaching Education, 15(3), 257-275.Ubc-elink.png
  • Kumashiro, K. K., & MyiLibrary. (2004). Against common sense: Teaching and learning toward social justice. New York: RoutledgeFalmer.Ubc-elink.png
  • Kumashiro, K. K., Ngo, B., & Education Research Complete. (2007). Six lenses for anti-oppressive education: Partial stories, improbable conversations. New York: Peter Lang.Ubc-elink.png
  • Kumashiro, K. (2002). Against repetition: Addressing resistance to anti-oppressive change in the practices of learning, teaching, supervising, and researching. HARVARD EDUCATIONAL REVIEW, 72(1), 67-92.Ubc-elink.png


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