Social justice by the book – Illuminate

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Social justice by the book – Illuminate

by ahnationtalk on February 4, 2016312 Views

Literature presents a way for the reader to see the world from unique perspectives, but can it help create a fairer, more just society?

Ingrid Johnston, professor emerita in the University of Alberta’s Department of Secondary Education, is researching how texts taught in school can open students’ eyes to racial, cultural and other kinds of difference, as well as to social issues such as poverty and addiction, as a way of cultivating empathy and global citizenship.

“We’re looking at how to promote social justice in the classroom, and our interest is primarily in literature and how it can evoke discussion and reflections on what it means to enact social justice,” Johnston says.

“One way of thinking about social justice in the classroom is raising awareness because, for example, some students don’t have the context about residential schools at all—they don’t understand the history. Other teachers would add there has to be some action involved rather than just an understanding.”

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