Course Information

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Introduction to Social Justice
November 1, 2018 - December 31, 2285
We live in a diversifying democracy—one that (at least in theory) is built upon the values of the dignity of all people, equal opportunity, and justice. But a quick glance at headlines tells us that, despite the progress made, we have a way to go. To close the gap between our democratic vision and reality, citizens (and educators) need to develop skills in citizenship and democracy. This course introduces the notion of social justice and guides teachers in the development of awareness and skills needed to reframe lessons and units to have a social justice lens.
Introduction to Social Justice


Professional development
  • Self-paced, asynchronous, start any time
  • 10 hours of learning, includes full lifetime access to course discussions and materials
  • Certified badge (micro-credential) awarded upon successful completion of final project
Competencies addressed

As a result of completing the assigned readings, viewing the video segments, and engaging in the related discussion and activities, you will be able to:

  • Describe the nature of diversity and identity.
  • Differentiate between bias, discrimination, and oppression.
  • Describe how inequities are created and maintained through social structures.
  • Create a classroom environment using principles of equity-literate communication.
Standard met

Meets InTASC Learning Progressions for Teachers. Specifically,

  • Content Knowledge: Standard/Progression #4: The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
  • Application of Content: Standard/Progression #5: The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
  • Planning for Instruction: Standard/Progression #7: The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
  • Any K–12 teacher can take this course (no prior knowledge or actual classroom experience is required).
  • Access to Internet on mobile device or computer. No purchase of additional materials needed.
  • Review and engagement of all content material included in the course, in the sequence presented.
  • Successful completion of final project.
Content and format
  • 3 research-based modules, each taking roughly 2 hours to complete

1. Identity, Diversity, and Culture
2. Defining Social Justice
3. Integrating Social Justice

  • Associated activities to test your knowledge of each module
  • Final project: Apply your learning about social justice to your classroom by reframing one or more lessons to have a social justice lens. Use the 3-step process of reframing the topic/skills, developing critical thinking questions, and adding activities and assessment.
About the author

Susan Santone, Founder and Executive Director of Create Change Educational Solutions and an instructor at the University of Michigan School of Education, is author of the forthcoming book Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability (published by KDP & Routledge).