Educational administration and social justice

Year: 2005

Author: Bates, Richard

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper argues that social justice is central to the pursuit of education and therefore should also be central to the practice of educational administration. Social justice in education, as elsewhere, demands both distributive justice (which remedies undeserved inequalities) and recognitional justice (which treats cultural differences with understanding and respect). But, given that cultures are always in the process of change, education is a key agency for negotiating cultural change through the exploration and negotiation of difference. Educational administration as a field can no longer escape the consideration of such issues as they are brought to the fore by the recognition of the failure of schools and school systems to ameliorate injustice in the distribution of resources and to recognise and celebrate difference as a means to social and cultural progress. We still need a model of educational administration centered around the problem of the justice and fairness of social and educational arrangements. Given the renewed interest in such issues, perhaps what was impossible twenty five years ago might now be achieved.