Foreword by: Carol D. Lee
Publication Date: July 30, 2021
The authors draw from their work with teachers and students to address issues of social justice through the regular curriculum and everyday school life. This book illustrates an approach that integrates social justice education with contemporary research on students’ development of moral understandings and concerns for human welfare in order to critically address societal conventions, norms, and institutions. The authors provide a clear roadmap for differentiating moral education from religious beliefs and offer age-appropriate guidance for creating healthy school and classroom environments. Demonstrating how to engage students in critical thinking and community activism, the book includes proven-effective lessons that promote academic learning and moral growth for the early grades through adolescence. The text also incorporates recent work with social-emotional learning and restorative justice to nurture students’ ethical awareness and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.
Larry Nucci is an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley and professor emeritus of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Robyn Ilten-Gee is an assistant professor in Education at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.
“Nucci and Ilten-Gee connect scientific findings around children’s development of what they call moral wellness with more recent research in education that include critical pedagogy, culturally sustaining pedagogy, restorative justice, and critical media studies. In each of these social justice–focused educational frameworks, they provide actual practices that teachers in real-world settings have employed with impact.”
—From the Foreword by Carol D. Lee, professor emeritus, Northwestern University
“Nucci and Ilten-Gee have crafted an utterly essential text for our times. As calls for social justice occupy an increasing share of public attention, their analyses provide educators with a clear and well-justified entry into the difficult yet necessary work of moral education required for meeting many of our most enduring challenges.”
—Winston C. Thompson, associate professor of philosophy of education, The Ohio State University
“Nucci and Ilten-Gee beautifully integrate moral development, classroom education, and social justice in this must-read book for educators, teachers, and anyone who cares about children’s development in the classroom context. This book provides a road map for educators desiring to facilitate children’s natural orientations to treat others with fairness and justice with the institutional and societal obstacles that are often experienced by children as they navigate their social world. Drawing on moral theories about development and using concrete examples from lesson plans, the authors effectively illustrate how to create moral education for social justice. It’s a tour de force!”
—Melanie Killen, professor and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, University of Maryland, College Park
“This is an important book. Nucci and Ilten-Gee bring together two literatures—moral development and social justice education—that have not been in contact. They show that teaching individual students to be tolerant, nice, or even just in their individual lives is not enough. They must also be taught to recognize and engage with injustice in the wider society. At the same time, they provide social justice education with a firmer foundation in a conception of morality and moral development. Along the way, they provide scores of wonderful examples of lessons in social justice and morality, and guidelines for dealing productively with this charged terrain in class discussions.”
—Lawrence Blum, emeritus professor of philosophy and distinguished professor of liberal arts and education, University of Massachusetts Boston