Education and Social Justice

As has been mentioned numerous times before, the American education system has undergone major changes in the past fifty years as the principles of teacher-directed education have gradually given way to student-centered learning philosophies. Although seemingly recent, the changes that have occurred in the classroom were actually initiated many years before in the classrooms of education schools. The training that occurs in these education schools has a great influence on the social, cultural, and intellectual path that a nation will choose, and due to this fact, it is important to understand what exactly our nation’s education schools are instilling in the minds of our future teachers. The “latest and greatest” education philosophy that education schools are pushing is the central focus of this library section: social justice education.

Social justice education is also commonly referred to as “critical pedagogy.” Although its ambiguous titles suggest virtuous American ideals such as truth and justice, its core principles revolve around a pervasive Marxist ideology. Championed by men such as Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, and William Ayers, critical pedagogy seeks to turn students into activists with an anti-capitalist mindset. Education schools are increasingly promoting this idea among their students by encouraging them to reject their “privileged” status, recognize their own racial biases, and focus on the “oppressed” facets of society. Today’s elementary and secondary classrooms are beginning to reflect these ideologies. As a result, American schools are slowly moving away from their old purpose of instilling academic skills and factual knowledge in children and toward a lopsided political indoctrination.

In order to better understand the many components of social justice education, it is helpful to return to the source and study the ideas of the original proponents of critical pedagogy. Due to this fact, this library section includes a variety of books, primary documents, and links to resources authored by those who encourage an American education system where critical pedagogy is front and center. However, this section also offers a variety of pieces and articles which challenge the core principles of social justice education, and as such encourage an education system that offers facts instead of politicized theories in its classrooms.

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Schalin discusses the philosophical roots of the teaching for social justice. Analyzing the the writings of William Ayers and Paolo Freire, he shows how this method of teaching "is not intended to provide useful skills, or open young eyes to appreciate culture or the mysteries of the physical universe. It is to convert and to prepare a new generation for the coming...

In this article, Katherine Kersten seeks to reveal the University of Minnesota’s future aims in regards to the education of teachers. According to Kersten, U of M seems to be seeking to completely revamp the ideologies of its teaching students by practically forcing them to accept progressive philosophies that the university approves of. This article goes on to...

In this article, Peter Wood reports on a Teacher College Record piece which declares that a focus on social justice should be promoted in education schools. Wood declares that although social justice pedagogy is considered to be biased toward liberal ideology, many of those who endorse its teachings feel that they are perfectly justified in indoctrinating...

This article reports on a variety of education schools and their programs which "demand that their students promote social justice." Johnson points out that social justice can be both a liberal and a conservative issue; but unfortunately, education schools have a distinct track...

In this article, Schalin describes the Social and Economic Justice minor program at UNC Chapel Hill, which according to him, is intended more for indoctrination than education. The program appears to be designed to promote anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism and to "convince students that a collective society is more just" based on the idea of human rights,...

In this article, Ashley Thorne reports on the growing popularity of encouraging the Marxist idea of critical pedagogy in education schools. According to Thorne, "[o]ne reason why educators are attracted by this pedagogical theory is that it makes such handy excuses for...

In this article, Mary Grabar reports on a recent educators conference that she attended. Although this conference was put on at the expense of taxpayers, the topics covered in it were hardly non-political, for many of the topics focused on liberal leaning social...

In this piece, Sol Stern reports on the rising influence of social justice pedagogy in basic educational subjects such as math. Stern describes the radical, socialistic backgrounds of those who promote this education philosophy, and also provides several...

In Mathematical Deceptions, Peter Wood describes how the practice of critical pedagogy is even infiltrating seemingly neutral academic subjects like math. According to Wood, teachers like Eric Gutstein are so devoted to the idea of...

According to William Damon, teacher accreditation organizations like NCATE are beginning to allow political ideologies to influence who can and who cannot be a teacher. Damon notes that NCATE is now seeking to test and assess a teacher candidate's "'disposition,'" a...

According to Ashley Thorne, the principles of critical pedagogy and social justice that are being taught in education schools are now beginning to infiltrate public elementary and high schools. Thorne reports on the "La Raza" studies which use the...

This piece describes how many education colleges - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in particular - maintain a staff and a curriculum that encourages Marxist ideology. Due to this fact, many of these professors are training America's future...

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There is growing concern that today's education schools are screening - and subsequently accepting - students on the basis of their political beliefs and attitudes rather than their scholarly abilities.

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This piece employs a variety of clear definitions and examples to explain the key components of critical pedagogy. Rochester lays out the similarities and differences between the progressive education philosophies of constructionists and the progressive ideas of the critical pedagogues.

This report chronicles many of the progressive ideologies and "social justice" concepts that are being thrust upon America's teachers and the children they teach.

This piece explores the increasing emphasis that teacher training conferences place on political indoctrination ideas like social justice and multiculturalism.

Due to the increasing popularity of the book Pedagogy of the Oppressed in education schools, Sol Stern seeks to unpack the roots and beliefs hiding behind its pages. The book promotes social justice in education through the concept of critical pedagogy, encouraging teachers to instill a liberal, socialistic ideology in the children that they teach.

Hines sees a variety of similarities between the "disposition" screening of today and the "mental hygiene" ideas of the mid-twentieth century. Hines uses these similarities to debunk and condemn the idea of requiring social justice mentality of education students.

According to Sandra Stotsky, today's education schools promote two types of pedagogical theories: "constructivism" and "critical pedagogy." Stotsky specifically focuses on the latter, declaring that it encourages teachers to focus on the politicization of the subjects they teach rather than to instruct students in basic academic skills.

Written by a proponent of radical ideas, this article seeks to draw parallels between anarchist theory and critical pedagogy. DeLeon makes urgent calls for critical pedagogy to be implemented more quickly and strongly within America's schools, noting that only then will change be accomplished.

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Social justice theory is a mainstay in liberal education schools throughout the country. According to this report, social justice theory is also creeping into traditionally conservative education schools like the one at Wheaton College. Julie Roys explains the...

In this video, Henry Giroux, one of the leading proponents of critical pedagogy, describes some of the origins of the critical pedagogy/social justice movement. Giroux discusses his own journey to critical pedagogy along with his own contributions to the movement. This video shows the relatively recent arrival of critical pedagogy on the education scene.

This clip from a pro-critical pedagogy group declares that "[r]evolutionary critical pedagogy operates from an understanding that the basis of education is political, and that spaces need to be created where students can imagine a different world outside of capitalism's law of value... where patriarchal hierarchies of oppression can be ended."

Primary Document

One of the areas where a push for social justice is evident is in the realm of teacher conferences. Instead of the factually based agenda that the public would expect from these gatherings, many teacher conferences are full of propaganda that encourages...

In the article Anatomy of an Evil Agenda, Jay Schalin describes Paulo Freire's book as "[t]he sacred scroll of the social-justice-in-education movement." Schalin's description of Freire's book continues in the following paragraphs:

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This document provides a list of course descriptions for the social justice education degree program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Some of the many titles include "Social Justice Education Curriculum Design and Facilitation," "Social...

This link contains a syllabus for a college class focusing on the details and facets of critical pedagogy. The professor encourages students to be engaged with one another and seek to learn from all of the participants, and not just the instructor. The professor also...

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