Social Justice Education

Social Justice Education Website

The reflective Master of Education program of study in Social Justice Education prepares education professionals to develop, implement, and assess social justice curricula and interventions in formal educational settings. It provides graduate coursework and opportunities for reflective practice for educational professionals who teach at all levels of the educational system, preschool through college.

The Master's program of study in Social Justice Education focuses on the intersection of dominance, power relations, and diversity issues in curricula, co-curricula and schools. All Master's students are expected to develop the following areas of knowledge and skill:

  • knowledge of history and contemporary constructions of the history and current social constructions of social groups in U.S. society;
  • knowledge of history and contemporary manifestations of systems of privilege and power among unequal social groups in U.S. society;
  • knowledge of the historical roots and contemporary theories of pedagogical practice affecting both instructor and learner in social justice education settings;
  • knowledge of instructional leadership and curriculum design in social justice education practice models;
  • knowledge and skills in the facilitation of self-knowledge development in our roles as social justice educators;
  • knowledge and skills in planning, implementing, and evaluating of social justice educational interventions;
  • knowledge, awareness, and skills in multicultural group dynamics.

Master's students in the program of study have the opportunity to acquire experience in the design and delivery of long- and short-term social justice education classes. Other practicum experiences are available in higher education and K-12 urban and local school settings.

Social Justice Education Master's graduates are directors of women's centers; faculty and staff of development programs, disability services, and other formal support organizations; program staff at universities; staff with Residence Life programs; and teachers of K-16.

Desired Master of Education Student Characteristics

The faculty seek applicants with demonstrated prior experience in teaching, supervision, or professional development of teachers, teacher education, educational administration, student affairs programming, school guidance and counseling, and college residential education. Applicants to the Master's program of study in Social Justice Education are expected to show evidence of applied social justice experience, at least one semester of which is supervised. Examples might include peer education programs, mediation teams, residence assistants, or community outreach programs of study. Evidence of at least one year's prior experience working in a Social Justice Education related area is expected. All applicants to Social Justice Education graduate degree programs (Master's and Doctoral) are expected to have prior experience working with socially and culturally diverse groups, experience working as change agents, and demonstrate reflective practice with a commitment to social justice. We recruit to assure social and cultural diversity within our program of study.

Admission requirements include an applicant's professional experience, perceived fit with program of study content and orientation, grade point average of 3.0 or higher, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Associated Faculty

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

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