Foundations of Education


Introduces the 'education for social change' philosophy.

Key Concepts

  • social change

Education for Social Change

The 'education for social change' philosophy aims to empower students to respond effectively to social inequities and global challenges.

Generally speaking, this philosophy sharply contradicts many of the core principles of the social continuity philosophy, by, for example, problematizing those societal traditions and conditions that are judged to be perpetuating social inequities and/or causing environmental harm.

Below is a summary of the social change philosophy (reproduced from Week 20's 'Five Philosophies of Education Compared' chart) plus an example teaching philosophy.
📌 The 'education for social change' philosophy connects with topics that were covered in Week 9 (Fall term) and Week 16 (Winter term).


Fall Term Correspondence: Week 9

Root Metaphors: World / Social Activism

Aim: To empower students to respond effectively to social inequities and global challenges.

Knowledge Acquisition: Follows a transformation path. Knowledge is actively constructed. A strong societal focus.

Values: Values are relative. Critical reflection and social criticism are promoted. Environmentalism, social justice, and civil rights are emphasized.

Curriculum: A global curriculum that is derived from a comparison of disparate regions of the world.

Subject Focus (Geography): A strong focus on contemporary social issues and current events. Structural inequities between regions are studied. Critical thinking and social action skills are taught and practiced.

Instructional Path: Problematizing of global challenges.


Monique is a teacher who believes that society is essentially inequitable and that the school system largely perpetuates this inequity from generation to generation. The only way to disrupt this generational cycle is for teachers to raise students' consciousness by integrating anti-racist and anti-sexist content into the curriculum. However, Monique is careful in how she approaches this. She draws on evidence from respected sources (e.g., census data and economic statistics) to highlight how some social groups fair better in society than other social groups. Monique is also concerned about her students' futures in terms of global and environmental issues more generally. For example, she integrates topics related to global warming into her teaching wherever possible.