The purpose of this ethnographic study is to examine how a commitment to socially just pedagogies influences the core practices and policies of a school. This article presents a comprehensive description and analysis of two public middle schools committed to teaching for social justice: Urban Promise Academy and San Francisco Community School. From this exploratory research, I construct a school-wide model of teaching for social justice consisting of three central components: the integration of issues of social justice across the curriculum, the use of socially just teaching practices, and the creation of a socially just school community. This research further discusses the requirements and challenges of teaching for social justice in U.S. public schools. I argue for progressive educators to adopt practical, practitioner oriented models of schooling, such as the one presented in this article in order to more effectively advocate for school reform.
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