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 certification the opportunity to study about how to address equity issues in a variety of educational settings, formal and informal.

The 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.

Dr. Angela Fillingim and Dr. Nini Hayes are Co-Directors for the Education and Social Justice Minor. You can also reach out to Elaine Mehary for information about the program.        

Students may declare the minor by contacting the Education & Social Justice Office, Miller Hall Room 401B. (Narrative evaluation required in FAIR coursework. Other coursework must be completed with a grade of C- or better.) 31-32 Credits Required.

Program Requirements

Required Core  Courses (12 Credits)

  • ❑  ESJ 411 - Education and Social Justice Credits: 4
  • ❑  FAIR 314E - Critical Pedagogy Credits: 4
  • ❑ One of the following:

  •     AMST 301 - Comparative Cultural Studies Credits: 4

Electives (at least 16 credits)

  • AHE 375 - Diversity in Higher Education Credits: 4
  • AMST 301 - Comparative Cultural Studies Credits: 4
  • AMST 314 - Latinx Migrants in the U.S. Credits: 4
  • AMST 315 - Contemporary American Indian Issues Credits: 4
  • AMST 316 - Contemporary African American Issues Credits: 4
  • AMST 412 - Seminar in Educational Equity Credits: 4
  • or  EDUC 412 - Seminar in Educational Equity Credits: 4
  • AMST 413 - Bridging Barriers with Migrant Youth Credits: 4
  • or  EDUC 413 - Bridge Barriers w/Migrants Credits: 4
  • AMST 464 - Multicultural Education for Teachers Credits: 4
  • or  ELED 464 - Multicultural Education for Teachers Credits: 4
  • ANTH 481 - Childhood and Culture Credits: 5
  • ANTH 484 - Intercultural Education Credits: 5
  • COMM 260 - Communication, Identity and Difference Credits: 5
  • ECE 380 - Foundations of Literacy for Early Childhood Education Credits: 4
  • ECE 431 - Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education Credits: 4
  • ECE 434 - Environments for Early Learning Credits: 4
  • ECE 435 - Child Abuse and Neglect Credits: 4 (course open to all ESJ students)
  • ECE 438 - Family and Community Relationships Credits: 4
  • EDUC 407 - Introduction to Education for Sustainability Credits: 4
  • ELED 425 - Social Studies for the Elementary School Credits: 5
  • ESJ 411 - Education and Social Justice Credits: 4
  • ESJ 416 - Advanced Topics in Social Justice Education: Critical Race Theory in Education Credits: 4
  • FAIR 314E - Critical Pedagogy Credits: 4
  • FAIR 319B - Current Issues in Law Credits: 2-5 (topic approved by advisor)
  • FAIR 336B - Topics in Social Issues Credits: 4-5 (topic approved by advisor)
  • FAIR 414D - Special Topics in Social Justice Education Credits: 4
  • FAIR 471 - Neoliberalism & the Public School Credits: 5
  • SOC 361 - Sociology of Education Credits: 5
  • SOC 369 - Sociology of Race and Ethnicity Credits: 5
  • One course from:

  • ELED 310 - Education, Culture, and Equity Credits: 5
  • or  SEC 310 - Education, Culture, and Equity Credits: 4
  • or  SPED 310 - Education, Culture, and Equity Credits: 5
  • Additional coursework related to social justice & education topics approved in advance by the ESJ Minor advisor. These courses might be drawn from the American Cultural Studies courses, Fairhaven courses, Political Science courses, Sociology courses, or other appropriate electives with approval.

Praxis/Capstone (4 credits)

  • ESJ 416 - Advanced Topics in Social Justice Education: Critical Race Theory in Education Credits: 4
  •    or   FAIR 414D - Special Topics in Social Justice Education Credits: 4