Social Justice

Recently during class, Dr. Brocato gave students a three part definition of social justice. That definition is as follows:

  1. set of steps we take to bring about more equality over time to meet needs of more;
  2. closing gaps between the haves and have nots;
  3. leveling the playing field;

I have been thinking about what this definition of social justice really means and how we are supposed to execute this definition as teachers. I think we have to be especially careful of the third part of the definition. I think when some people hear the phrase “leveling the playing field” it tends to have a negative connotation. This phrase usually means to bring the “haves” down rather than bring the “have nots” up. So, I think in our executions we just need to be careful that we never bring any of our students down. Rather, we need to strive to just life up our lower students and be clear that these are our intentions. For the first project, I read a book about a case study of the achievement gap in a high school in an affluent area. The progress at said high school was halted due to the “haves” fearing losing their privileges. So, we need to be clear that we do not want to take away from anyone, but rather give opportunities to all.

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