The critical centrality of social justice in english teacher education

Deborah Bieler, Leslie David Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This chapter argues that equipping teachers for the essential task of serving as social justice advocates in their classroom and school communities must become the central task of English teacher preparation programs. This argument is positioned against the backdrop of a U.S. sociopolitical climate that has seen increased injustice and violence against youth, teachers, and schools in spite of official policies promising otherwise. The authors describe current efforts to achieve a social justice focus in two spaces that are particularly influential for practicing and aspiring English teachers: pre-service teacher preparation coursework and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), our primary professional organization. The chapter examines the trajectory of research and practice that has arisen in response to the 2012 NCTE standard on social justice in English teacher preparation and offers suggestions to the next generation of educational researchers about increasing the visibility and efficacy of this important work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-163
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Research on Teaching
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Advocacy
  • English teacher preparation
  • Social justice
  • Social justice teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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