Teaching Social Justice Research to Undergraduate Students in Puerto Rico: Using Personal Experiences to Inform Research

Shawn A. Ginwright, Julio Cammarota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


This article explores the process of teaching undergraduate students to conduct social justice research. We were interested in understanding how to develop a social justice perspective among students while training them in conventional research methods. The following questions guided our research activities. How can the principles of social justice inform undergraduate research projects? What pedagogical strategies prepare students to conduct social justice-based research? What are the challenges and opportunities in teaching social justice research? We documented the lessons and activities during the field school and collected students’ comments in journals, extensive observations, focus groups, and interviews to understand the influence of social justice on the students’ approach to research. We identify three lessons in teaching social justice. First, teaching social justice requires that students develop meaningful relationships with the community understudy. Second, gender dynamics can prohibit or promote meaningful student engagement and learning. Third, it is important to consider how to integrate, rather than “add on,” social justice activities and discussions into research lessons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-177
Number of pages16
JournalEquity and Excellence in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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