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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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7 Esther Luna González: School Community: A Service Learning Programme

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Esther Luna González 7 School Community: A Service Learning Programme for the Development of Active Citizenship Introduction The previous chapter made links between practical ethics, in the sense of preparing university students to take a transformative role in society, and ‘Directed Experiential Learning’ (DEL). I prefer to use the term ‘Service Learning’. The theoretical roots of Service Learning lie in John Dewey’s educational and social philosophy. Ef fective Service Learning programmes have an expectation that students learn from practical experience and through ref lective activity on this experience; and that the participative programmes they engage in should be informed by the concepts of citizen- ship, community and democracy. To set this chapter in the theoretical frame of educational ethics, the leading theme of this volume, I ref lect on the final paragraph of the chapter by Bill Atweh and his colleagues. They argue that ethics cannot be an ‘add- on’ to education; rather it should be ref lected in identifying the aims of educational processes and in making decisions about practices of teaching, learning and assessment. They conclude: ‘[A]n ethical approach to educa- tion calls for taking risks … and invites us to a continuous and exhaustive sense of engagement with the welfare of the other.’ I would argue that Service Learning of fers an exemplar of this ethical approach in practice. The previous chapter explored these ideas within a university setting. In this chapter I present the results of the validation of a Service Learning programme for developing...

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