Exploring Social Justice in
TEACHER EDUCATION


Hill, J., Philpot, R., Walton-Fisette, J. L., Sutherland, S., Flemons, M., Ovens, A., … Flory, S. B. (2018). Conceptualising social justice and sociocultural issues within physical education teacher education: international perspectives. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 23(5), 469–483

In this article, the authors map the various ways in which physical education teacher educators or PETEs define and understand social justice issues in physical education and sport pedagogy (PESP). Centred on a typology of approaches that distinguishes between ‘neoliberal’, ‘humanist’, ‘critical’, and ‘post-‘ orientations, the authors interrogate the dominant neoliberal values that dictate institutional policies and practices such as outsourcing and specialization. Within this vein, the authors examine findings from a global study of 71 PETE and PESP educators working in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, the U.K., and U.S. An analysis of surveys, semi-structured interviews, and course assessments portrayed a variety of understandings among respondents in terms of what social justice is, and what teaching for social justice may include. For some, ‘social justice’ meant reproducing privilege but these participants were unable to account for disparities in opportunity or outcome, or explain the structural causes of discrimination. For others, social justice entails the acceptance of diversity and difference, and developing a greater understanding of equality. Typically this meant working within rather than challenging social systems and norms. In such a way, taking action was an explicit component of social justice for only a small number of participants.