South African Journal of Education

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Teaching for social justice education: the intersection between identity, critical agency, and social justice education

D Francis, A le Roux


In line with national policy requirements, educators are increasingly addressing forms of social justice education by focusing on classroom pedagogies and educational practices to combat different forms of oppression such as racism and sexism. As all educators have a role to play in dismantling oppression and generating a vision for a more socially just future, teacher education has the responsibility to capacitate pre-service teachers to work in areas of social justice education. It is, however, difficult to conceptualise programmes for social justice education without considering the interconnection between various social identities and how such identities can feed into critical agency and education for social justice. Working with the assumption that white women teachers must be part of the solution to bring about social change in South African education, we used in-depth interviewing to explore pre-service teachers’ emerging identities as teachers, and how these identities are connected to notions of critical agency and a stance towards social justice.

Keywords: agency; anti-oppressive education; identity; social justice education; teacher education; white women pre-service teachers
AJOL African Journals Online