1st Edition

Social Justice in Schools A Framework for Equity in Education

By Charles A. Barrett Copyright 2023

    This book guides PreK-12 educators and school-based clinicians on how to embed socially just practices into their day-to-day roles to achieve more equitable outcomes. Social Justice in Schools uses vivid vignettes and personal reflections to demystify complex concepts. It pinpoints ways educators can better understand their racially and ethnically minoritized students, reflect on and challenge implicit bias in assessment and decision making, and build meaningful home–school relationships. Chapters begin with clearly framed learning outcomes and close with discussion questions and resources for professional learning. In a convenient large-size format, the book includes reproducible handouts and forms that can be downloaded and printed for repeated use.

    This book is in The Guilford Practical Intervention in the Schools Series, edited by Sandra M. Chafouleas.

    Foreword, Ivory A. Toldson
    1. Social Justice: A Framework for Equity in Public Education
    2. Social Justice Is About Systems
    3. Social Justice Is About Challenging Ourselves and Others
    4. Social Justice Is About Privilege, Implicit Bias, and Intersectionality
    5. Social Justice Is About More Than Numbers
    6. Social Justice Is About the Children, Families, Schools, and Communities We Serve
    7. Social Justice Is About Empowering Families
    8. A Challenge to Educators
    9. Social Justice and Me: The Formation and Evolution of a Professional Identity


    Charles A. Barrett, PhD, NCSP, a district-level administrator in Virginia, practiced as a school psychologist for 13 years at the elementary and secondary levels. He serves as an adjunct lecturer at several universities, where he is actively involved in the training and development of future school psychologists. Dr. Barrett was named a School Psychologist of the Year by the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists. His past leadership positions within the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) include co-chair of the Social Justice Task Force and African American Subcommittee, chair of the Multicultural Affairs and Social Justice Committees, and Virginia Delegate to the NASP Leadership Assembly. Dr. Barrett serves on the editorial boards of School Psychology Review and School Psychology. He is a frequent speaker and workshop presenter for educators, families, and community organizations. His website is www.charlesbarrett.org.

    "This essential book will engage educators across disciplines and at all levels--from preservice teachers to practicing school psychologists. It provides insight into what social justice means in the context of schooling and how educators' daily practices can facilitate social justice for the children, families, and communities they serve. Barrett has created an easy-to-read book that is a call to action for educators concerned with equity, fairness, and opportunity for marginalized students."--Sherrie L. Proctor, PhD, School Psychology Program, Queens College, City University of New York

    "A toolkit for educators who endeavor to transform their classrooms into just communities. Barrett skillfully weaves theory, research, and social justice practices, and includes thought-provoking exercises at the end of each chapter. The rich stories, helpful diagrams, and community-building activities will help educators develop the needed skill set to practice social justice in the schoolhouse. Drawing on his own experiences as a school psychologist, Barrett has crafted a needed resource aligned with the NASP Practice Model."--Terri N. Watson, PhD, School of Education, The City College of New York

    "While many social justice books are written from a theoretical perspective that leaves the reader wondering what to do next, Barrett’s book focuses on knowledge and tools that educators can use right away. Case studies, vignettes, resources, and reflection questions aid in understanding specific ways to enact anti-racist ideals. Using the 'Five C's of Equity' described in the book will allow school teams to change practices, policies, and behavior to ensure equitable outcomes. A 'must read'!"--Andria Amador, EdD, NCSP, Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services, Boston Public Schools

    "Barrett highlights the intersection between theory and practice in order to move equity from talk to action. He provides a roadmap on how to ensure adult issues don’t get in the way of responding to what students need. This text inspires and equips educators in contexts where equity is a collective goal. What resonates with me most as a superintendent is how the book helps us learn more about not just what we think social justice is in schools, but, more important, what we can do with it."--Nyah D. Hamlett, EdD, Superintendent, Chapel Hill–Carrboro City Schools, North Carolina

    "Social Justice in Schools is a book for this day and time. Barrett adeptly walks the fine line between the prescriptive and descriptive to give educators a framework to appropriately serve the children in their care. This book is for new and veteran teachers, school psychologists, and other school professionals. As a middle school division director and an educational consultant, I found tangible tools for professional development. Run, don't walk, to get this book."--Worokya Duncan, EdD, Head of Upper School, The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, New York City

    "Rooted in Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, this book provides an accessible, resourceful, and thorough framework for centering social justice work in school contexts. Drawing on literature from multiple disciplines and from his own positionalities and life experiences as a Black professional, Barrett challenges the reader to critically reflect about power and to unlearn deficit frames. He invites all educators to a journey of creative co-imagination of systemic change at the level of policy, assessment, and in learning spaces, proposing a transformation that can center all languages and ways of learning."--María Rosa Brea-Spahn, PhD, CCC-SLP, Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, New York University-