Exploring Social Justice in


Brown, A. L., & Au, W. (2014). Race, Memory, and Master Narratives: A Critical Essay on U. S. Curriculum History. Curriculum Inquiry, 44(3), 358–389.


In this article, the authors seek to challenge the hegemonic understanding of the foundation of curriculum studies by exploring Charles Mills’s conceptualisation of revisionist ontology. In an examination of 33 texts centred on early curriculum development and curriculum studies history in the U.S., the authors critically examine the ways in which the field’s historical trajectory is typically perceived. In so doing, the authors find that the field of curriculum studies fails to recognise the contributions of non-White authors in the field’s textual narratives, and when they are included, non-White scholars are rendered as being (a) one of very few non-White contributors when this is not the case; and/or (b) pigeonholed to (quite problematic) discussions of race.

In an examination of published policy documents, textbooks, and other educational resources currently used in Irish secondary schools, Bryan problematises the prevailing view of intercultural education as being the primary mechanism through which racism and racial inequality can be ameliorated in Ireland. As a crucial addition to the existing literature, which predominantly focuses on teacher responses to immigration and ethnic diversity, this article explores the politics undergirding the existing curricula. To wit, Bryan illustrates how discussions around race and racism are framed in nationalistic terms, and the consequences of this framing. As follows, Bryan illustrates how ‘diversity’ has become something to be managed and contained within intercultural education discourses; and unsettles the prevailing view of BAME students as being new to the presumed white, settled Irish community. This ‘otherness’ is reinforced through multiple misrepresentations in the texts, which serve to reproduce rather than contest racism and racist ideologies. Bryan thus concludes that “the implementation of intercultural education in schools fulfills a political function of providing an educational palliative to minorities while… muting consideration of alternative policy responses that would yield genuine egalitarian outcomes and effects for racialised minorities in Ireland”.

Cerezo, A., McWhirter, B. T., Peña, D., Valdez, M., & Bustos, C. (2013). Giving Voice: Utilizing Critical Race Theory to Facilitate Consciousness of Racial Identity for Latina/o College Students. Journal for Social Action in Counseling & Psychology, 5(3), 1–24.

This article describes the development and implementation of the Latina/o Educational Equity Project or LEEP, which is a pilot programme designed to facilitate the growth of a critical consciousness among Latina/o college students in relation to race and racism in Higher Education. Despite being the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., Latina/o students have the lowest third-level graduation rates in comparison to Asians, Pacific Islanders, Whites, and Black/African-Americans. Moreover, much of the existing literature has tended to focus on the cultural values and familial attachments of Latina/o students rather than the ways in which the institutional contexts and cultural environment of HE works to preclude Latina/o students from graduating. And even less has been done to explore the development of programmes designed to support Latino/a students in these settings. Through LEEP, the authors sought to (a) develop a program grounded in the specific needs of Latina/o students; and (b) ‘give voice’ to community members in the development and delivery of the program. The course contents thusly focused on (i) examinations of race and racism within university structures, practices, and discourses; (ii) challenging the dominant ideology that claims universities are objective, meritocratic, color blind, racially neutral and equal opportunity providers; (iii) commit to social justice and praxis; (iv) honour experiential knowledge from lived experiences; and (v) provide historical context from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Chandler, K. L. (2018). I ulu no ka lālā i ke kumu, the branches grow because of the trunk: ancestral knowledge as refusal. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (QSE), 31(3), 177–187.

In a critical examination of the ways in which Native Hawaiian scholars and educators engage innovative strategies to incorporate ancestral knowledges into the academy, this article seeks to highlight different methods of teaching resistance. Across Indigenous communities, ancestral knowledges are highly valued as lessons passed on from generation to generation but are under constant threat by formal education systems, which have typically determined that they have no place within the university. As Chandler points out, the devaluation of ancestral knowledge in these settings reflects a bias against elder knowledge (and preference for ‘new knowledges’) as well as the stark contrast between Indigenous cultures and the non-multi-generational approach in HE. In a critical discussion of these issues, this article looks at the ways in which ‘academic elders’ have laid the intellectual foundation for identifying the role of colonization in devaluing ancestral knowledges throughout the academy, and presents exemplary practices of communities, individuals, and institutions that have refused these exclusion.