A new book edited by DCU academics will support primary school teachers to integrate meaningful social justice and sustainability education into existing curricular subjects.
The book, Teaching for Social Justice and Sustainable Development Across the Primary Curriculum, contains theoretical and practical guidance, including ready-to-use lesson exemplars, resources, and activities to address issues including gender stereotyping, racism, heterosexism, climate change, and species extinction.
Children’s role acknowledged
The book addresses a range of current issues of debate in education both in Ireland and internationally, acknowledging the roles that children are already playing in working towards a more just and sustainable world. It will be of great interest to student teachers, teachers, educational leaders, and anyone interested in inspiring children to take action to promote social and environmental justice.
Supported by Minister Norma Foley
This week Minister for Education Norma Foley launched the book. In congratulating the editors, Minister Foley declared it “a significant body of work that superbly explores how social justice and sustainable development pedagogies and principles can be seamlessly integrated into the primary school curriculum.”
“I am particularly impressed that it addresses a whole myriad of subject areas ranging from maths to language teaching, and including the visual arts.
“If we are to successfully engage, enlighten and empower our students we must do so at every opportunity across all aspects of the curriculum and traversing every aspect of school life. This new work has the potential to be a wonderful tool in achieving that objective.”
Minister Foley also thanked the editors and contributors for “drawing together so clearly the parallels of social justice and sustainability in our primary curriculum and shining a light on the unlimited potential and endless possibilities of our gifted educators.”
Supported by President of Ireland Michael D Higgins who provided the foreword
“I have no doubt whatsoever that the quality of the debate on the social justice and sustainability issues will be immensely aided by this work… What an advantage it will be to have this book available for the classroom and for the teacher education colleges,” President Higgins said.
Speaking about the importance of the book, Dr Anne Marie Kavanagh, Co-Editor and Assistant Professor in Ethical and Intercultural Education in DCU School of Human Development, said:
“We are seeing a significant rise in children and young people’s activism and interest in and commitment to challenging social and environmental injustices and the very real existential threats posed by climate breakdown and more recently the Covid-19 pandemic.
“While education is only one part of the wider system that can play a role in addressing these issues, it can play a really important role. As educators, we need to support children and young people in their commitments to bring about positive change. This book is intended to support teachers to do just that.”
Teaching for Social Justice and Sustainable Development across the Primary Curriculum is edited by Dr Anne Marie Kavanagh, School of Human Development; Prof Fionnuala Waldron, School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies; Dr Benjamin Mallon, School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies.
The book is published by Routledge.