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Social justice means making sure all people in all experiences have equitable economic, political and social privileges and rights. Social justice in education opens doors of access, opportunity, ability and empowerment for everyone, especially those who have been denied in the past.

 

What is it?

Social justice in education varies by the individual people involved and not involved; obvious and not-obvious culture; social class and economics; gender and identity; context and community; space and time. Social justice is often associated with listening to student voiceMeaningful Student Involvement actually relies on social justice by fostering equitable partnerships between students and educators.

Through classrooms, curriculum and culture, teachers, school leaders and politicians have used schools to control society for more than a century. With these tools, the advantages and disadvantages of age, class, gender, and race have been enforced, made deeper and sustained. Through social justice in education, schools have also and continue to liberate students and transform communities. Sometimes all of these things happen in the same educational settings at the same time.

 

Where does Meaningful Student Involvement fit?

Social justice can emerge through Meaningful Student Involvement.

  • Students partner with adults to learn, teach and lead the education system.
  • Space is created for students to examine, dissect and build their knowledge of social justice and injustice in their lives.
  • Dialogue happens between educators and students about what social justice means, what it is and is not, and how it can happen in education.
  • Strategies for action are embedded throughout education that engages students as planners, researchers, teachers, evaluators, decision-makers and advocates in schools.
  • Power and privilege are manifested and how these influence their lives in their neighborhoods, states and countries.
  • Politics, power and relationships are revealed throughout education and government education policy-making by Student/Adult Partnerships.
  • Reflect on possible outcomes of learning, teaching and leadership throughout education that dismisses justice as a priority

 

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Published by Adam Fletcher

Adam is the founding director of SoundOut. An author, speaker and consultant, he has worked with K-12 schools, districts, nonprofits and others for more than 15 years. Learn more about him at http://soundout.org/Adam

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