Social Justice and Civic Education
M. Victoria Costa

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Florida State University

Primary Discipline

This research concerns the philosophical assessment of the implications of theories of justice for the educational goal of creating good citizens. Clarifying the philosophical foundations of various forms of civic education is a necessary step for the thoughtful discussion of policy issues. My starting point is a discussion of John Rawls’ theory of justice as the basis for account of civic education, and a selective analysis of alternative theories in order to refine this account. The first part of my book will discuss the role of civic education in the promotion of social justice. It will argue that civic education should aim to develop an understanding of public principles and norms that are necessary for citizens to live together in pluralistic and democratic societies. The second part discusses another central task of civic education: how to address different types of injustices in order to encourage political debate about them. This task requires a better understanding of the major sources of social injustice, such as historical patterns of discrimination against minority groups and relationships of domination. The third part discusses what justice requires beyond the borders of nation-states and argues for including a cosmopolitan dimension in civic education.
About M. Victoria Costa

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