Learning to Teach for Social Justice at NUIG

Contact: Elaine Keane and Josephine Boland (josephine.boland@nuigalway.ie)

‘Learning to Teach for Social Justice (LTSJ) is a collaborative university-community civic engagement programme. Our mission is to support the educational participation and achievement of minority ethnic and other marginalised post-primary school pupils, with a particular focus on initial teacher education and in-career professional development. The programme meets defined needs of our community partners, addresses key issues of national concern and is closely aligned with the School of Education’s mission, which includes serving as a resource to the wider educational community and with the university’s commitment to civic engagement. Learning to Teach for Social Justice consists of three strands: 1. A service learning course titled ‘Learning to Teach for Social Justice’ within the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). Goals, learning outcomes, pedagogy and assessment are developed collaboratively with our community partners and are closely linked with the academic content of the PGDE, specifically the ‘Education, Diversity and Social Justice’ course. Student teachers work with the GTM’s ‘Pavee Study’ homework club in the community setting, providing academic and other support to Traveller pupils from local schools. On campus we provide supportive tutorials to encourage student reflection and to support the communication of learning. 2. ‘Education, Diversity and Social Justice’ workshop. Initially developed by the GTM in 2008 for delivery to practising teachers, this workshop is being re-designed by the School of Education and our community partners for wider implementation. It supports teachers’ development as educators committed to a social justice ethos, through an interrogation of their own class, ethnic and gender positionality and through an examination of pedagogies for social justice. 3. Collaborative advocacy work: Academic staff work with community partners in myriad ways, inter alia, supporting their other education-related work, assisting with funding applications, and capacity-building (for example, supporting their members as co-presenters with academics at conferences).Further details:Elaine Keane, School of Education; elaine.keane@nuigalway.ie Dr. Josephine Boland, School of Education: josephine.boland@nuigalway.ie

Discipline: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences
Institution: National University of Ireland, Galway
Activity: Service Learning/Community Based Learning

Additional Information

Academic Discipline: Education
Module Title: Learning to Teach for Social Justice
Typical number of students: 15
Year(s) of Programme: Postgraduate
Credits (ECTs): 2.5
Mandatory: No
Assessment method: Autobiography and expectations, Reflective essay, Service Log, Verification by community partner
First established: 2008
Typical number of hours: 50
Learning outcomes: On completion of this experience and the associated assessment, it is anticipated that the student teacher will be able to:
  • adapt their developing pedagogic skills to a one-to-one teaching situation
  • implement a range of motivational strategies 
  • use education technology as a creative and motivation resource 
  • critically reflect on issues of diversity, interculturalism and educational disadvantage from another’s’ perspective
  • consider the impact of culture and tradition on expectations, experiences and perception on education
  • engage professionally with a partner organisation, students and parents 
  • cope with the level of uncertainly that is a features of an informal and relatively unstructured learning environment
  • review their own personal philosophy of teaching 
  • communicate their individual and collective learning from the experience to others 
Case study website/link: http://www.nuigalway.ie/education/staff/josephine_boland/citizenship.html
Community Partners: Galway Traveller Movement


Case Study Category: