Injustice in Education

Deconstruction of a social justice incident or ongoing social justice issue in education

McInerney   (2007) explains that injustices and oppressive practices visit classrooms on a daily basis.   This was most definitely the case witnessed in a middle-socio economic dominated high school that had a high percentage of immigrant students and students from non-English speaking backgrounds. A specific white, middle-class teacher in this secondary high school implied that these students are not worth teaching because of their cultural heritage and race. In addition, the teachers in this staff room had very low expectations of these students, did not particularly want to be involved in the students learning and finally she was reluctant to take on this ethnic class of students. Primarily this can be recognised as an ongoing social justice incident as racism is involved as the teacher stereotypes her students. Furthermore, this incident focuses on how students future will be affected by the teachers lack of commitment to them, ultimately highlighting how power relations of society become involved within this incident and how a teacher within the educational society has the ability to affect a students academic achievements and upward progression through life.

The term 'social justice’ is used to signal the unifying factors underlying the general movement towards a fairer, less oppressive society (Griffiths, 1998). Thus, social justice is an attempt to achieve an “idyllic” society, which involves equality and fairness. In terms of racism within schooling, social justice looks at the education system as a social structure. Education is a major source of social transformation, providing learners with those critical and reflective forms of perception and understanding that will primarily enable them to participate in the creation of an improved and more desirable form of social life than that which currently exists (Walker, 2003). Accordingly, the incident of the teacher...