Negotiating Visions of Teaching: Teaching Social Studies for Social Justice
Ruchi Agarwal, Ed. D
San Francisco State University
Pre-service teachers may leave their graduate programs with strong social justice leanings, yet most begin teaching struggling to integrate their visions into a context constrained by accountability demands. Pressures and constraints, such as high-stakes testing and mandated curriculum, may require teachers committed to social justice to negotiate what they want to teach and what they are able to teach. This piece highlights the daunting journey of one beginning teacher and her struggle to uphold her commitment to teach for social justice while still meeting administrative expectations. The study’s findings point to the myriad complexities surrounding teaching social studies for social justice, especially regarding integrating social justice content into the general curriculum. As a result of these findings, several questions have been formulated for further research surrounding the education of teachers for social justice.