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In this article, we present a qualitative multi-case study of three beginning elementary teachers working in New York City and describe the distinct ways in which each articulates her responsibility to teach a social justice-oriented education. We employ positioning theory to examine how teachers narrate their relationship to the concept of social justice and how this relates to the ways in which they identify themselves and others as capable and qualified to engage in such work. We find that responsibility to teach for social justice is often delegated based on a perception of experiences with injustice and wonder how this rigid outlook can be made more malleable and inclusive. We draw from the work of Sharon Todd to imagine how individuals, situated within unique and divergent circumstances, can all be framed as integral members in the making of a more just world. This article ends with suggestions for how teachers and teacher educators can infuse such theories into reflective, autoethnographic practices.


This article originally appeared in Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, available at DOI: 10.1177/1746197912440855

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