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Towards an Education for Social Justice

Ethics Applied to Education

Series:

Tony Cotton

This book challenges educators to envisage an education system which sees as its goal a more socially just world. It explores the question of how education, both formal and informal, can positively impact on all pupils’ life chances and life experiences.
The contributors to the book take the view that access to an equitable education for all is a necessary condition for the advancement of social justice; indeed the book argues that social justice cannot be achieved except through education. The authors suggest that it is the responsibility of educators to support the advancement of the millennium development goals including the achievement of universal primary education and the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The authors in this collection explore a range of case studies and offer evidence for the ways in which education has proved detrimental to the advancement of social justice. More importantly they point to ways in which our global education system can be developed to meet the requirements of a socially just society.

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4 Maresa MacKeith: Breaking the Cycle of Isolation and Ignorance

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Maresa MacKeith 4 Breaking the Cycle of Isolation and Ignorance Introduction In this chapter I of fer a vision of an education system driven by an ethics of care, underpinned by a deep understanding of the impact of the current UK education system on learners who are perceived as requiring ‘special education’. Following Atweh et al in Chapter Two of this volume, the present chapter of fers a practical insight into the theoretical perspectives of Levinas, whose philosophy of ethics puts encounters with dif ference at the heart of any ethical approach to education. In this sense, the chapter of fers an exemplar of the possibilities of an education system built on ethical approaches. At age five, in 1990, I started at a special school where I was assessed on my performance. My ‘performance’ was supposed to prove my understand- ing. Physically I could not perform, so I was assumed to have no under- standing. At the special school I remember the torture of not being able to respond, then my disappointment when the school refused to believe in the communication system that worked for me at home. When I was nine, I was promised I could move to a mainstream primary school. I would start one day a week, with the plan that I would quickly increase my attendance to full time within the first term. Unfortunately the one day a week was not increased for two years. When I was eleven, the Local Education Author- ity that coordinated...

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