Social Justice and Education

Convened by Caroline Sarojini Hart,

Goals for education are commonly driven by claims and desire to pursue social justice in one form or another.  However, critical theorisation and articulation of what is meant by social justice is often neglected. This new reading group will focus on understanding and critiquing multiple origins, ideas and theories of justice. Through group engagement with a range of literature the aim is to develop deeper knowledge and understanding of our own positionalities, with particular regard to the relationships between social justice and education research, policy and practice.  Students and staff are invited to come along to the first session and to share ideas on how we can collaboratively develop this space.

Third meeting: 24 January, 12:30-2:00pm, DMB 2S7

All readings are available in various Cambridge libraries as well as being
accessible as e-books.

Sen, A. (1995).  Inequality Reexamined. Oxford:Oxford University Press.

Nussbaum, M.C. (2011). Creating Capabilities. The Human Development Approach.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Walker, M., & Unterhalter, E. (2007). Amartya Sen's capability approach and social justice in education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 4, pp.67-86.

Second meeting: 21 November, 4-5.30pm, room tbc

Sen, A.K. (2009) The Idea of Justice (London, Penguin, Allen Lane), Chapter 2, [Rawls and Beyond], pp.52-74.

Nussbaum, M.C. (2004) Beyond the social contract: Capabilities and global justice, Oxford Developmental Studies, 32(1), pp.3-18.

Brighouse, H. (2004) Justice (Cambridge, Polity Press), Chapter 4, [The Capability Approach], pp.67-83.

First meeting: 25 October, 12.30-2.00pm, DMB 2S10

Suggested reading for session 1:

Rawls, J. (1999) A Theory of Justice. Revised edition (Cambridge Mass., Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), Chapter 1.

Brighouse, H. (2004) Justice (Cambridge, Polity Press), Chapters 1-3.

If you wish to take part please contact Caroline Sarojini Hart at If you are unable to attend but would like to take part in future meetings please do also get in touch. We anticipate the next meeting will take place in late November 2018.