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Translating Discourses of Social Justice in Education: Teachers' Enunciation, Repetition, and Resignification

Fri, April 9, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), Division K, Division K - Section 3 Paper and Symposium Sessions


Conceptualizing teaching in terms of social justice has been a major agenda in education. However, teaching for social justice has become symbolic and signals a “just good teaching.” This narrative inquiry examines the complex ways in which the three teachers, who are the graduates of a justice-oriented preservice program in the U.S., conceptualize and enact socially just teaching. The theoretical framework is underpinned by Bhabha’s concept of translation. This study demonstrates how the participants repeat, re-signify, and translate discourses of social justice in education. Their translation reclaims the undecidability of socially just teaching. The teachers’ translation performs the subversion of the Enlightenment discourses of social justice in education. The ambivalent and indeterminate (im)possibility of socially just teaching is discussed.