Social justice pedagogy

Most people want to be fair and just towards others, but sometimes it is difficult to do this in practice, or their unconscious attitudes get in the way. Education can help people address their unconscious biases as well as the injustices in their own lives and in society. Social justice pedagogy aims to educate and enable students to become active citizens who understand social inequalities and can contribute to making society more democratic and egalitarian. To achieve that, systems of power, dominance, privilege or oppression may be critically explored with students and they may be encouraged to engage with processes of activism such as protests. Educators committed to social justice value people’s unique experiences and perspectives and do their best to treat all students in a caring and dignified way. They advocate fair distribution of learning resources and a commitment to methods that allow full participation by all. Social justice pedagogy stresses the importance of involving and engaging students in building the curriculum, rather than having a curriculum imposed on them. It may also involve paying attention to how sub-cultures, marginalized groups or under-represented people are portrayed in published learning materials and in the wider context of local and global media.

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