Indiana University Northwest
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School of Education

School of Education

Social Justice

Social Justice

1. Understanding/Power

  • Understands the political and economic structures of domination and oppression.
  • Develops an understanding of social justice and respect for and support of diversity in education.
  • Identifies the sources of power, recognizes ones’ own position in relation to power, and understand the political nature of what we teach and learn.
  • Asks and answers important ideological questions regarding education for social justice. What is the purpose of schooling? What is the role of public education in a democratic society? What historically has been the role of schooling in maintaining or changing the economic and social structure of society?
  • Appreciates the knowledge and life experiences that students bring into the classroom.
  • Sees the significance of poverty as it relates to issues of power in and out of the classroom for both students and parents.

2. Advocacy

  • Develops tools for change.
  • Exposes the forces that prevent individuals and groups from making decisions.
  • Analyzes competing power interests between groups and individuals within a society.

3. Social

  • Pays explicit attention to social relations within the classroom.
  • Ensures input from all stakeholders and generates opportunities for everyone to be co-owners.
  • Teaches the social skills necessary to actively participate in an inclusive democratic community.

4. Instruction/Assessment

  • Uses assessments fairly and appropriately in ways that allow diverse students to demonstrate what they know, value, and can achieve.
  • Differentiates classroom management based on the needs of the students leading to successful classroom community membership.
  • Addresses both the emotional and cognitive components of the learning process.
  • Helps students identify who gains and who loses in specific situations.
  • Helps students understand and analyze power relations.
  • Provides students with equitable access to knowledge and an understanding of the realities of their lives.
  • Acknowledges and supports the personal and individual dimensions of experiences, while making connections to and illuminating the systemic dimensions of social group interaction.
  • Develops effective strategies for managing classroom situations of discrimination or cultural conflict.