Social Justice

"My dress is dirty. I belong to a small village. My identity is derived from my village name. My loving parents take great pains to provide food, shelter and love. I am at peace. Only when I step out of my home, reality hits me. And hits me hard. In school. At worksplace. People treat me as if I am a wild beast. Uncouth in appearance. Untouchable to the core. Unworthy to get an education. Society's parasite.

This article explores the need for social justice teaching in science education, and what it can accomplish, especially for students who come from communities that have been excluded from science learning and careers. It also presents important lessons learned from one case of science teaching for social justice.

Teacher preparation can be a dynamic vehicle in the cause of promoting social justice (Hansen, 2008). Social justice may be a philosophically contested and normative concept (Goodlad, 2002). But then to Rawls “justice is the first virtue of social institutions” (Rawls, 1971; p.3). Also Novak (2000) argues that social justice is a virtue ascribed to the “reflective and deliberative acts of individuals (quoted in Grant & Agosto, 2008; p.98).

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