Social Justice and the Teacher Preparation Curriculum: A Cross-Cultural Analysis

  • Carmel Roofe
  • Christopher Bezzina
  • Marilyn Holness
Part of the Intercultural Studies in Education book series (ISE)


Social justice is fundamental to achieving quality educational outcomes for all. Its main goal is the full participation of all groups in society. The curriculum is an important cornerstone in determining the quality of educational outcomes. The curriculum is the what and how of preparing students to function effectively in the democratic process and to respond in socially just or responsible ways. The extent to which students are able to do this is dependent on the quality of the curriculum content and delivery approaches. Therefore, those who develop curriculum and those who prepare teachers to deliver the curriculum are important stakeholders in ensuring a socially just curriculum. Since teacher educators perform both functions, they are responsible for helping teachers to bring social justice practice to their classrooms. In this chapter we explore the perspectives of teacher educators on a social justice orientation towards how curriculum is developed and enacted in teacher preparation programmes. Case studies of three teacher educators in Jamaica, Malta and England are used to provide cross-cultural analysis of the social justice function of the curriculum in each context. Data collected from each country was guided by a common methodological approach for conducting in-depth interviews and analysing the findings. The findings indicated that teacher educators across contexts had a shared understanding of social justice and believed that the teacher preparation curriculum and those who enact it should provide prospective teachers with regular and ample opportunities for reflection and discussion of real-life experiences of social justice issues as imperatives in preparing teachers to teach for social justice.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmel Roofe
    • 1
  • Christopher Bezzina
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marilyn Holness
    • 4
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of the West IndiesKingstonJamaica
  2. 2.Leadership for Learning and Innovation, Faculty of EducationUniversity of MaltaMsidaMalta
  3. 3.Department of EducationUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.University of RoehamptonLondonUK

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