Education and Social Justice Minor

Many students at Western are interested in working with children and youth in a variety of settings to foster social justice. This program will provide students, who may or may not be seeking teacher certification, the opportunity to study about how to address equity issues in a variety of educational settings.

This new Education and Social Justice Minor helps prepare youth workers, professional educators, counselors, and community organizers to understand and effectively use social justice frameworks, critical reflection and praxis to address equity issues in formal and informal educational settings, nonprofit, public service, and private organizations.

Key concepts that thread through the program include: critical and decolonizing theories and pedagogies, studies of the social and political context of education in it broadest sense, the construction of individual and collective identities, systems and mechanisms of social and cultural reproduction, critical consciousness, and resources, forms of resistance and processes of empowerment.

Advisors for the minor are Veronica Velez (ESJ minor director) and Marie Eaton (Fairhaven College). Students may declare the ESJ minor by contacting Jackie McClure.

For FAIR coursework, a narrative evaluation is required; other coursework must be completed with a grade of C- or better.


31-32 Credits Required

Required Core Courses (12 credits)

  • EDUC 411 Education and Social Justice (4)
  • FAIR 314E Critical Pedagogy (4)
  • AMST 301 or FAIR 366E Comparative Cultural Studies (4)

Social/Political Context (at least one course)

  • EDUC 310, or SEC 310, or ELED 310, or SPED 310 Education, Culture & Equity (4)
  • FAIR 319B Current Topics in the Law (topic approved by advisor) (4)
  • FAIR 336B Topics in Social Issues (topic approved by advisor) (4)
  • SOC 361 Sociology of Education (5)
  • ANTH 484 Intercultural Education (5)

Equity Pedagogy (at least one course)

  • ELED 464 or AMST 464 Multicultural Education for Teachers (4)
  • FAIR 336B Topics in Social Issues (topic approved by advisor) (4)
  • FAIR 311C Alternatives in Education (4)
  • EDUC 412 or AMST 412 Seminar in Educational Equity (4)
  • EDUC 413 or AMST 413 Bridging Barriers with Migrant Youth (4)

Children & Youth in Society (at least one course)

  • FAIR 322M Childhood in America: Memoir & Memory (4)
  • SOC 380 Sociology of Youth (5)
  • FAIR 448T Risk/Resilience Adolescent Girls (4)
  • ECE 435 Child Abuse & Neglect (4)
  • FAIR 336B Topics in Social Issues (topic approved by advisor) (4)
  • HSP 315 Human Development & Human Services (4)
  • PSY 332 Adolescent Development (5)

Identity in Culture (at least one course)

  • AMST 314 Contemporary Latino/a Issues (4)
  • AMST 316 Contemporary African American Issues (4)
  • ANTH 481 Childhood & Culture (5)
  • EDUC 310, or SEC 310, or ELED 310, or SPED 310 Education, Culture & Equity (4)
  • FAIR 312E Transgender Identities and Histories (4)
  • FAIR 313E Queer Issues in Education (4)
  • FAIR 336B Topics in Social Issues (topic approved by advisor) (4)
  • FAIR 374B Cultural Creation of Identity (4)
  • FAIR 436B Adv Topics in Social Issues (topic approved by advisor) (4)
  • HSP 455 Diversity & Social Justice Dynamics (4)
  • PSY 119 Psychology of Gender (4)
  • SAA 375 Diversity in Higher Education (4)
  • SOC 369 Sociology of Race & Ethnicity (5)
  • AMST 315 or FAIR 399B Contemporary American Indian Issues (4)

Praxis/Capstone (choose one, at least 4 credits)

  • EDUC 414 or FAIR 414D Special Topics in Social Justice Education (4)
  • EDUC 400 or FAIR 400 Independent Study: Applied Experience (by advisement) (4)