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Engaging the Critical in English Education

Approaches from the Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education


Edited By Briana Asmus and Charles H. Gonzalez

The chapters in this collection explore the implementation of social justice pedagogies with preservice teachers by members of the Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education; a group of teacher educators from across the country whose primary goal is to prepare teachers to use socially just models to reach all groups of students and to create a more equitable educational system. In this collection, each member/author presents a critical model of social justice teaching by considering the ways in which gender, race, class, and other intersections function in the classroom. Individually, authors enact critical models by interrogating inequitable systems of oppression in their own professional and pedagogical environments. Collectively, the chapters ask what thoughtful, participatory social justice pedagogy looks like in multidimensional pedagogical spaces. At all levels, this collection explores the rewards and challenges of social justice pedagogy within and outside of preservice teacher preparation programs influenced by a constantly shifting political landscape. Ultimately, this collection seeks to discover how ideas of social justice are conceptualized and understood by English educators and K-12 teachers.

As a possible approach to this question, the chapters in this collection support ELATE-SJ’s paradigm for advocacy. This paradigm includes three areas of enaction: research, scholarship, and action. Within these areas, members of the commission (authors) seek to better understand how preservice ELA teachers see themselves and others, to develop flexible teaching models grounded in social justice pedagogy (SJP), and to delineate opportunities for transformation, growth, and change in and through our profession.

Acknowledgments – List of Contributors – Briana Asmus/Charles H. Gonzalez: What Is Social Justice to Teacher Education? A History of the Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education Programs – Noah Asher Golden: Countering Reified Framings of Social Justice: Building Responsiveness through Dialogue – Allen Webb: The Climate Emergency and English Education – Nicole Sieben: Positioning Writing Hope as a Framework for Social Justice in English Education – Heather Hurst: "It’s Harder to Do It Here": Learning to Teach for Social Justice in a Rural English Education Course – Deborah Bieler: Designing an Equity-Oriented Undergraduate English Education Major – Kelly Byrne Bull: Preparing Teacher Candidates to Meet the Needs of English Language Learners: Social Justice as Foundation – Amy Vetter/Melissa Schieble/Kahdeidra Monét Martin/Terri Rodriguez: Framework for Critical Conversations as Social Justice Pedagogy in ELA Classrooms – Todd DeStigler: Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and the Problem of Poverty: From Cultural Identity to Political Subjectivity Index.