Two sets of questions – one set practical and one set philosophical – guide the reader through this chapter. The practical questions address the immediate concerns of K-6 teachers, and the philosophical questions lead readers to think more deeply about matters of social justice.
An extended discussion of social justice’s means ensues. A jurisprudential framework is presented to help students think about how the three types of justice (procedural, distributive, and retributive) apply to matters of social justice. This framework is then followed by several definitions of social justice, and the concepts of equality versus equity are introduced, leading to the introduction of the concept of relational justice.
The section on human rights describes the National Council for the Social Studies’ executive statement on families and human rights followed by a section that concerns topics relating to gender equality and childism.
The chapter then offers examples of social injustices that have occurred in society, beginning with those who are differently abled. The following section concerns anti-racism. Finally, the chapter considers why social justice lessons should be included in the K-6 social studies curriculum and provides guidelines for such lessons.