Educating Activist Allies: Social Justice Pedagogy with the Suburban and Urban Elite, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Educating Activist Allies

Social Justice Pedagogy with the Suburban and Urban Elite, 1st Edition

By Katy M. Swalwell


162 pages

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pub: 2013-03-22
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A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2013!

Educating Activist Allies offers a fresh take on critical education studies through an analysis of social justice pedagogy in schools serving communities privileged by race and class. By documenting the practices of socially committed teachers at an urban private academy and a suburban public school, Katy Swalwell helps educators and educational theorists better understand the challenges and opportunities inherent in this work. She also examines how students responded to their teachers’ efforts in ways that both undermined and realized the goals of social justice pedagogy. This analysis serves as the foundation for the development of a curricular framework helping students to foster an "Activist Ally" identity: the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary to negotiate privilege in ways that promote justice. Educating Activist Allies provides a powerful introduction to the ways in which social justice curricula can and should be enacted in communities of privilege.


"This slim but information-packed book raises many questions that need to be considered by teachers of all students. Summing Up: Highly Recommended." - S. Sugarman, emerita, Bennington College in CHOICE

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Why the Education of Privileged Children Matters

Chapter 2: Disconnected, Paralyzed, and Charitable: Social Justice Pedagogy with Privileged Children

Chapter 3: Sheltered and Exceptional: Privileged Students’ Conceptions of Themselves and Their Communities

Chapter 4: Social Justice Pedagogy in Action: "Bursting the Bubble" and "Disturbing the Comfortable"

Chapter 5: Did They Get It? Students’ Responses to Social Justice Pedagogy

Chapter 6: Eyes Pried Open: A Framework for Educating Activist Allies

About the Author/Editor

Katy M. Swalwell is Assistant Professor in the College of Education & Human Development at George Mason University, USA.

About the Series

Critical Social Thought

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General