Una proposta d'innovació curricular per treballar la justícia social a l'aula de secundària. Una reflexió sobre la pròpia pràctica

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


The concept of social justice is as old as human beings. In the 20th century, theorists like Rawls, Sen, Nussbaum, Frazer and Young have tried to lay the foundations of what should be a fair society from different points of view: redistribution, recognition and participation. Working in favor of social justice is one of the goals of teaching-learning of social sciences, geography and history, for the development of public awareness and critical thinking, and its main purpose is helping young people to become active citizens as well as committed to society. The research work we are presenting is an innovative approach to social justice work in the secondary school classroom and a reflection about our own practice. Using Millennium Development Goals and its controversial topics as a unifying thread, our project starts from the research on the social representations of students in relation to social injustice: poverty and immigration. It examines how boys and girls interpret them, where their representations come from and which proposals are able to articulate in order to solve them. Starting from their own personal experience and others, we try to find out how young people assess the migratory phenomenon and whether it is considered a social injustice. The study of some aspects related to law, allows us to understand how young people position themselves about it. We finish the study analyzing the social representations a year after finishing the classroom work, in order to see how these representations have changed. It is, therefore, a research placed within the field of educational investigation, framed in the sphere of Social Science Education, which has as main characters, 89 students and a teacher, during the period in which it took place. For the data analysis, a qualitative methodology has been used. The tools for data collection have been: questionnaires, life story, classroom activities and focus group interviews. The collected and analyzed data show that young people identify poverty and immigration as social injustice situations, and the information channels that they use to know them are basically the mass media; that young people empathize more with people who experience poverty than with those who are immigrants; and that they express great distrust towards political class and consequently towards the Spanish democratic system, when they give their opinion about poverty and immigration. Migration processes carried out by the family itself are not considered as social injustice, but as an opportunity to improve socially and economically. In relation to law, their answers highlight the debate between ethic and legal aspects. Some consider that immigration Law is unfair because it doesn't respect people's fundamental rights. Most young people believe that Catalunya is a welcoming country, where they can carry out their life project. In the initial representations, the concept of social injustice is associated with the respect for the basic rights of the people and with the need of a more egalitarian distribution of wealth. In the final representations the principles of equality, freedom and solidarity are added to this concept. Referring to equality, it takes the three dimensions of social justice: redistribution, recognition and participation. Reflexive practice helps the teacher to find the thread that gives meaning to the teaching-learning of social sciences and makes them aware that teaching needs to be contextualized to make it meaningful.
Date of Award19 Jul 2017
Original languageCatalan
SupervisorMontserrat Oller Freixa (Director)

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