Master's Degree: Social Justice Education Concentration

Social Justice Education is an interdisciplinary concentration of study with a focus on social diversity and social justice as they apply to formal and non-formal educational systems. It uses and generates research and theory to understand the sociocultural and historical contexts and dynamics of specific manifestations of oppression (e.g., ableism, classism, heterosexism, racism, religious oppression, transgender oppression and sexism) in social systems. It brings together faculty and students with interests in theories and issues of social diversity and social oppression, inclusion, equity, social justice, critical pedagogy, dialogues across differences, individual and collective empowerment, liberatory consciousness and practice, and research for social justice.

The goal of SJE master’s concentration is to prepare educational leaders that can promote social diversity and social justice in educational settings through well designed social justice education practices, including the development of educational materials and the effective design, delivery and evaluation of educational programs. The concentrationengages students in critical analysis of social justice issues and matters of social justice education praxis and uses reflective practice methodologies to prepare social justice educators who can demonstrate competency in knowledge, awareness and skills to design, deliver and assess social justice education practices and programs. Graduates are employed in a variety of formal and non formal educational settings such as anti-bias education programs, youth organizations, and as classroom teachers in public and private schools, and as educators and student affairs personnel in university and college settings. For detailed information about the SJE master’s concentration and admissions information SJE concentration website  (Click here to link to more information about our Social Justice Education graduate programs of study).

Master’s program of study - 39 credits.

Required courses:

                EDUC 691E        Social Justice in Education
                EDUC 624          Contemporary and Historical Constructions of SJE
                EDUC 627          Curriculum Design in SJE
                EDUC 648          Historical and Pedagogical Foundations of SJE
                EDUC 698S        SJE Teaching and Facilitation

EDUC 691E includes a minimum of four weekend seminars selected from among the following seven choices:  Ableism, Religious Oppression, Classism, Transgender Oppression, Heterosexism, Racism and Sexism.

In addition, students are required to meet three specific requirements:

  • Self/Other Awareness by taking either Educ 609, Multicultural Group Process OR Educ 522, Self-Awareness
  • Research and Evaluationby taking a relevant graduate level research methods or assessment course in College of Education
  • SJE Applications by taking two practica courses that utilize reflective practice methodologies to foster the development of competencies and expertise required to design, deliver and evaluate social justice education practices, which include Practicum in SJE (required) for the first, and for the second, a choice from either Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation orSJE in Educational Settings.  The expectation of this requirement is exposure to at least two different models of SJE practice. 

Elective Courses

M. Ed. candidates are required to take two graduate level electives (inside or outside the College of Education) in consultation with the advisor (6 cr.) to support their program of study. Students take courses in Afro-American Studies, Anthropology, Women, Gender and Sexuality studies, Sociology, Higher Education, International Education, Teacher Education, Psychology, and Sociology. At least one of these electives will be site specific – formal or non-formal educational settings. 

Contact Information

For more information about the Social Justice Education concentration, please contact:

Concentration Coordinator: Ximena Zúñiga (Associate Professor)
Email: xzuniga@educ.umass.edu

Associated Faculty

Maurianne Adams (Professor Emerita),  Bailey W. Jackson (Professor Emeritus), Brenda Juárez (Assistant Professor), Kerrita Mayfield (Visiting Assisting Professor),  Ximena U. Zúñiga (Associate Professor).