The Social Justice Turn in Education: A Narrative

Year: 2021

Author: Toscano, Maurizio, Stolz, Steven

Type of paper: Individual Paper

Social justice is a perennial concern of education. It has found expression, explicitly or implicitly, in many contemporary and historical renderings and critiques of both the means and the ends of education. More recently, the term ‘social justice’ has come to denote an amalgam of theoretical and activist positions that, despite their heterogeneity, constitute a distinctive “turn” in what is broadly accepted as social justice. Through a narrative, this paper examines the grounds for identifying such a turn in social justice – especially in the context of education – and examines the strengths and limitations of social justice understood as such. Moreover, in the spirit of philosophical inquiry, we explore the following: (1) what does this social justice turn tell us about the kind of society we live in and/or the kind of society we aspire to be or become?; and, (2) is the social justice turn a good or bad thing for education in general?