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Institute for Social Justice

Education for Social Justice

Research-informed education, training and CPD addressing social justice and inequalities.

Education for Social Justice is at the core of the work of the ISJ, describing the delivery of research-informed education, training and CPD designed to address inequalities, challenge prejudices, enhance wellbeing, develop better professional practice or transform live opportunities.

This includes education opportunities for individuals excluded from education and training for practitioners and professionals.

Our current projects are:

Prison Partnership Project - education for resettlement

Performer kneeling on floor blowing feathers from hand

How can people rebuild their lives after spending time in prison?

How do we help people reconcile their experiences and the path they have taken to define a different course for their lives in the future?

Led by Rachel Conlon, The Prison Partnership Project involves staff and students from drama and other disciplines working directly with women in prison to explore their experiences, reflect on their choices and rediscover their identity in the outside world.

To find out more, visit Prison Partnership Project.

Converge - education for recovery

Student and mentor working on creative writing

How do we address the mental health crisis affecting society?

How can universities work with communities to help people from every background whose lives are affected by mental illness?

Directed by Dr Nick Rowe, Converge is an award-winning collaboration between York St John University and the NHS that sees our staff and students offer hope and help to mental health service users through creative courses and new connections.

To find out more, visit Converge.

The Military Human - education for transition

Man's work shoes with bag

After people have served their country and risked their lives in the military, sometimes seeing the worst of humanity in the process, how do we help them integrate back into daily life?

Co-ordinated by Nick Wood, The Military Human is a nationally recognised programme that explores and addresses this challenge, enhancing our national response through training and awareness raising.

To find out more, visit The Military Human.

From the Ground Up - education for community regeneration

Artist impression sketch of figures sat around a table.

The From the Ground Up research project explores how arts practice can be used to help meet the education and social needs of a post-industrial community’s children and young people.

Lead by Dr Vanessa Corby, this project worked with a number of municipal galleries in Barnsley, along with schools, artists and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It sought to provide a new materials-led model of arts education that encouraged young people to use drawing as a process of reflection on their daily lives, depicting their homes, pets, as well as their family and friends, in order to think about their place in these relationships.

To find out more, watch the From the Ground Up film (Vimeo).

Augmented Reality - education for science learning

Child wearing augmented reality headset connected to laptop

How can augmented reality help encourage science learning for primary school children? Formal learning remains the standardised and most common system for educating the young generation in the sciences. However, schools are no longer the only place where science education is taking place.

Lead by Warren Fearne (Design), this project explores the development of innovative uses of augmented reality (AR) to bridge the gap between classroom experiences and remote science learning with the goal of encouraging more young children to become engage in science-based subjects and careers.

Cinema for Social Justice

Graphic of green hand holding cinema tickets

Bringing together university lecturers, students, archivists and thinkers from a wide range of disciplines, the Cinema and Social Justice project aims to explore film's vital role in shaping our understanding of the world around us.

Our focus is on the social justice work that cinema does and the questions which cinema can answer for us. How can film encourage discussions regarding the subjects of race, gender and sexuality, homelessness, poverty, education, healthcare, or policing, in addition to ecological justice in sustainability, and ecological consciousness and climate anxiety? Can these discussions, facilitated through film, bring about meaningful social change?

The project is lead by Dr Martin Hall and Dr Lauren Stephenson. Find us on Twitter: @CinemaJustice

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