Partners in justice: School counselors and teachers creating classrooms for social justice

Joyce A. DeVoss, Kendra A. Surmitis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Professional School Counselors (PSCs) are in a unique position to partner with teachers in promoting social justice in the classroom. Social justice involves action with the goal of positive change in situations where there are inequities. K-12 classrooms offer a rich setting for teacher/PSC collaboration. Since the late 1990s, PSCs have formally joined other educators in taking on the critical role of change agent and advocate for students. PSCs can partner with teachers in the classroom to model social action practices and engage students in social action activities, including mentorship experiences between upper and lower level high school students. This type of cooperative learning, paired with student personal reflection exercises, supports the personal and social emotional development of students, and prepares for success in college and career. In addition to a review of social action theory supporting social justice orientation in schools, this chapter includes a model for teacher/counselor collaboration to promote social justice learning, specific to the issues of truancy and lack of engagement. We provide an outline for a curriculum to address these issues along with sample lessons with instructional strategies that are infused with social justice themes and aligned with counseling standards for high school guidance and teaching standards for a social studies class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Justice Instruction
Subtitle of host publicationEmpowerment on the Chalkboard
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783319123493
ISBN (Print)9783319123486
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Peer mentors
  • Social justice
  • Teacher/counselor partnership
  • Truancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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