TitleThe pedagogy of assignments in social justice teacher education
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMcDonald, M. A.
JournalEquity and Excellence in Education

Applying a programmatic view, this study intends to understand the portrayal of social justice provided by assignments across multiple courses.  Predicated on concepts from sociocultural theory and a theory of justice, McDonald reveals that the conceptions of justice assignments that were emphasized varied from a focus on the individual needs of students to an emphasis on the sociopolitical conditions of schooling. When assignments addressed teachers’ field placement experiences, they overwhelmingly stressed an individualistic notion of justice. The diversity among students in teachers’ placements substantially shaped teachers’ opportunities to engage this notion. When assignments emphasized the sociopolitical conditions of schooling, they focused on general principles for teaching and were disconnected from teachers’ field placement experiences.  This reading is useful when designing courses that are geared social justice pedagogies.