Just Measures: Social Justice as a Teacher Education Outcome

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This article constructs learning to teach for social justice as a complex but assessable outcome of teacher preparation. It provides a conceptual framework and describes a set of assessment tools and studies that use quantitative and qualitative methods for the collection and analysis of data. We conceptualize learning to teach for social justice as having three core components, all intended to lead to the goal of improving students' learning and enhancing their life chances. In doing so, we describe and illustrate a portfolio of measures and studies, focusing on the ongoing efforts of an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners at Boston College who have been working over the past 5 years to develop "just measures"--that is, tools, instruments, protocols, and studies that document and measure learning to teach for social justice as an outcome of teacher education. We describe and analyze five measures, as well as some of the conceptual and methodological issues that each raises, arguing that the ideals and values of social justice and the notion of accountability are neither irreconcilable nor mutually exclusive aspects of teacher education but, instead, mutually reciprocal parts of a whole.