Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education  book cover
2nd Edition

Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education

ISBN 9780815375005
Published March 2, 2018 by Routledge
152 Pages

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Book Description

Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education offers pre- and in-service educators an opportunity to analyze and reflect upon a variety of realistic case studies related to educational equity and social justice. The accessibly written cases allow educators to practice the process of considering a range of contextual factors, checking their own biases, and making immediate- and longer-term decisions about how to create and sustain equitable learning environments for all students. This revised edition adds ten new cases to offer greater coverage of elementary education, as well as topics such as body-shaming, Black Lives Matter, and transgender oppression. Existing cases have been updated to reflect new societal contexts, and streamlined for ease-of-use.

The book begins with a seven-point process for examining case studies. Largely lacking from existing case study collections, this framework guides readers through the process of identifying, examining, reflecting on, and taking concrete steps to resolve challenges related to diversity and equity in schools. The cases themselves present everyday examples of the ways in which racism, sexism, homophobia and heterosexism, class inequities, language bias, religious-based oppression, and other equity and diversity concerns affect students, teachers, families, and other members of our school communities. They involve classroom issues that are relevant to all grade levels and content areas, allowing significant flexibility in how and with whom they are used. Although organized topically, the intersections of these issues are stressed throughout the cases, reflecting the complexities of real-life scenarios. All cases conclude with a series of questions to guide discussion and a section of facilitator notes, called ‘Points for Consideration.’ This unique feature provides valuable insight for understanding the complexities of each case.

Table of Contents

Directory of Cases by Topic 

1: Introduction 

2: Analyzing Cases Using the Equity Literacy Framework 

3: Cases on Poverty and Socioeconomic Status 

4: Cases on Religion 

5: Cases on Ethnicity and Culture 

6: Cases on Race 

7: Cases on Sex, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression 

8: Cases on (Dis)ability 

 9: Cases on Sexual Orientation 

10: Cases on Language 

11: Cases on Immigrant Status 

Appendix A: The Equity Literacy Case Analysis Worksheet 

Appendix B: Points for Consideration References

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Paul C. Gorski is Associate Professor of Integrative Studies at George Mason University and the founder of EdChange.

Seema G. Pothini is a former classroom teacher, cultural integration specialist, and teacher trainer who now serves as an equity and diversity consultant.


‘This book is a must for any social justice/equity pedagogy course. I have used the first edition for the past four years and am so pleased to have an update. Using an equity framework, my students develop a lens for detecting inequity as it occurs in everyday classrooms, become adept at looking at the situation from multiple perspectives, and develop actionable plans to negotiate obstacles to equity in the classroom, the school, and in the community. Such a valuable resource!’

—Jacquelynn A. Malloy, Department of Teaching and Learning, Clemson University

‘This case studies book and its pedagogical strategy was a game changer for all of my graduate and undergraduate courses. I can’t imagine teaching without it now! Gorski and Pothini’s second edition updates and extends what was already an essential instructional strategy for teacher education courses and professional development. The case study pedagogy provides the necessary theory to practice critical reflection and application that moves educators from simplistic gut reactions to daily injustices and microaggressions that exacerbate inequities to grappling with complex questions and a range of perspectives and outcomes. By engaging with real cases through a systematic, intentional process of deep examination, discussion, and questioning, students are able to specifically see how privilege and oppression operate in schools and how they can respond. This realization coupled with a framework to process such dilemmas in schools, prepares our students to better advocate for their students and families. I have used the first edition since it was first published and have seen huge growth in my students’ ability to recognize and address the sociocultural context of schools, their own assumptions and biases, and the role that educators play in their sphere of influence to mitigate inequities in their classroom and school.’

—Kara Kavanagh, Assistant Professor in the Department of Early, Elementary, and Reading Education at James Madison University