The focus of this sub-theme is threefold. First, we want to understand more about how teachers and school leaders are being prepared to establish and sustain just environments in educational institutions (including pre-primary, primary and secondary schools, TVET institutions, universities, etc.) and to work towards justice in their contexts. Second, we are interested to learn more about how social, cultural, linguistic and environmental justice can be holistically incorporated across written, taught, and assessed curricula. Third, we would like to explore ways in which deep and ongoing workforce engagement with families and communities, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, can be ensured and can be effective.  

In this theme, we welcome theoretical or conceptual ‘think-pieces’ as well as empirical research and lessons from practice. Proposals may address some of the following questions and topics: 

  • In what ways (or not), are the curriculum and / or education workforce preparing learners for climate change and its impacts?   Are Indigenous knowledges and lived experiences of families and communities being valued and incorporated?
  • Where and who are the drivers for change and resilience within national and local education systems?  To what extent, do external interventions and funders value and build on national and local initiatives, drawing on community expertise, rather than ‘parachuting’ in more globally conceptualised ideas?   
  • What are the political, social and economic factors, as well as the local and global conditions, that shape youth aspirations to work within education systems and beyond?  
  • Who recruits and deploys teachers and how?  What levels of accountability for equity and inclusion do they have, so that the education workforce reflects learners’ demographics, provides relevant role models and incentivises teachers to stay in schools serving the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups?
  • How well do pre-service and in-service education curriculum and programmes prepare educators to engage with parents and communities, to create just learning environments and to leverage emerging technologies? Do local education systems have the capabilities to integrate and support these?
  • What other discourses – for example, Environmental, Food, Health, Language, Youth – do we need to bring into the education discourse and curricula to break down silos and improve the wellbeing of educators, teachers and learners?

Sub-theme convenors

Claire Hedges

Claire Hedges, The Open University

Purna Kumar Shrestha

Purna Kumar Shrestha, VSO

Read the interview with the convenors about their aspirations for the theme