The UVA School of Education and Human Development is committed to building a more just society. We realize this will not happen accidentally but through the dedicated efforts of individuals across the country. The pursuit of justice often occurs in K-12 spaces, led by teachers and staff who work tirelessly to provide educational opportunities for students of all ages.
Numerous people and organizations have created social justice learning materials for students. We have created a guide for teachers to help navigate these materials. We have reviewed numerous existing curricular materials and provide teachers with pertinent information such as topics covered, grade level of focus, and how to locate each resource. We also analyzed contemporary social justice education literature to identify key social justice learning domains. These standards were used as a framework to evaluate existing curriculum resources. The domains we incorporated in our review are listed below. There is also a key that indicates the degree to which a particular domain appears within each resource.
Ultimately, we hope this guide will help educators determine which resource best meets their context-specific needs. This list is by no means exhaustive. For example, resources that had less than three materials and/or required purchase were not reviewed. There also may be resources that met our criteria but were inadvertently overlooked in our search. Moreover, others may have a different interpretation of our evaluation scores. Despite limitations, we believe this document will support the pursuit of a more equitable, democratic society— one classroom at a time.
Please use the search tools below to identify curricular resources that may best fit your needs. Once you select a resource, you will be taken to a page that provides additional information on the specific source.
- Critical Consciousness: The ability to recognize and analyze systems of inequality, and the commitment to take action against these systems (Freire, 2005).
- Reciprocal Community Relationship: The school recognizes its role as both a resource and beneficiary to the community (Carlisle et al., 2006).
- Systems Wide Approach: Every aspect of the school environment (physical, social, academic) is committed to building and maintaining a socially just environment for families, students, teachers, administrators (Carlisle et al., 2006).
- Direct Social Justice Teaching: Teachers and administrators explicitly teach aspects of social justice (SJ), including but not limited to SJ terms, application of SJ principles, and confronting manifestations of social oppression (Carlisle et al., 2006).
- High Expectations: The school provides a diverse/challenging learning environment that holds all students to high expectations and empowers students of all social identities (Carlisle et al., 2006).
- Inclusion and Equity: The school promotes inclusion and equity by addressing all forms of social oppression (Carlisle et al., 2006).
- Self-reflection: Teachers provide students opportunities to learn who they are and where they come from (Picower, 2012).
- Social Action: Teachers provide opportunities to take action on issues that affect students and their communities. Students identify issues they feel passionate about and learn the skills of creating change firsthand (Carlisle et al., 2006; Picower, 2012).
- Social Identities: The portion of an individual's self-concept derived from perceived membership in a relevant social group (Tajfel & Turner, 1979).
☆ = Minimal Presence
☆☆ = Some Presence
☆☆☆ = Full Presence