Cloth $89.95 ISBN: 9781447305255 Published January 2014 For sale in North and South America only
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9781447305248 Published January 2014 For sale in North and South America only

Education and Social Justice in a Digital Age

Rosamund Sutherland

Rosamund Sutherland

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

176 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2014
Cloth $89.95 ISBN: 9781447305255 Published January 2014 For sale in North and South America only
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9781447305248 Published January 2014 For sale in North and South America only
In many countries, the focus of school curriculum shifts back and forth between traditional subjects (such as mathematics and history) and the development of skills (such as problem solving). Rosamund Sutherland argues here that skills-focused curriculum—often seen as preparing students to work in our digital age—can actually exacerbate existing social inequalities. Arguing from a social justice perspective, she contends that schools should prioritize instruction in traditional subjects, which can provide disadvantaged students with formal knowledge they are not likely to learn outside school. Sutherland’s theoretical and practical insights point toward changes in policy and practice that could help improve student’s lives.
Journal of Social Policy
“Throughout this short, highly readable, and highly enjoyable book . . . there is perhaps surprisingly relatively little space devoted to digital technologies themselves. Sutherland, drawing upon her extensive research experience, focuses her work here very sharply upon her more personal experience. . . . In essence then, this is a book with an ‘it’s the curriculum stupid’ message that is far removed from the evangelical approach to the ‘transformative’ power of digital technologies in education that I feared it might have been. Digital technologies will not, Sutherland argues, make schools irrelevant, or even, in their current form, anachronistic. . . . It is, frankly, a long-time since I enjoyed reading an academic book as much as this one. . . . A clear and powerful introduction to an important set of ideas. The warmth, passion and humanity in the writing are evident.”
Michael Young, Institute of Education

"This is the most refreshing book about education I have read for many years. Any teacher or future teacher, indeed anyone involved in or interested in education, will learn much from reading it. It deftly illustrates that the only way to a more just system is when knowledge is placed at the heart of all we do as teachers."


About the author



1. An unfolding story


A personal history

A developing divide

A digital revolution?

This book

2. Expanding the possible: people and technologies

Introducing the digital

People and designed objects

A brief history of digital technologies and education

Institutional factors that influence how digital technologies are used in schools

Transforming learning: expanding the possible

Capabilities, education and social justice

Concluding remarks

3. Knowledge worlds: boundaries and barriers


Knowledge and skills in the 21st century

Competing ideologies in the curriculum

Powerful knowledge: an example from mathematics education

Curriculum and social justice

Concluding remarks

4. Ways of knowing: everyday and academic knowledge

School and home

Learning computer programming at home: the case of Alistair

Science simulations and out-of-school game-playing

Everyday and academic concepts

Vygotsky and sociocultural history

Concluding remarks

5. Schools as spaces for creating knowledge

A brief history

Schools as institutions

Personalisation and education

Three scenarios for future schools

Concluding remarks

6. Assessment and the curriculum in a digital age


Accountability and challenging low expectations

High-stakes assessment and what is valued in the curriculum

Teaching, feedback and evidence

Rethinking the digital in assessment

Concluding remarks

7. Education in the 21st Century

The purpose of education

Theory as a way of seeing

Knowledge and pedagogy

Knowledge in a digital age

Agency and responsibility

Teachers and teaching

Teachers as professionals

8. The idea of justice in education


Capabilities and the ‘opportunities to become’

Cooperation between schools and between students

Cooperation, professional development and leadership

Schooling and social justice

Endnote: on the pleasure of making and writing



For more information, or to order this book, please visit
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from Policy Press at the University of Bristol. RSS Feed