Quantitative and qualitative study of social Justice Representations in Spanish and Argentinian primary school students

Juanes, Almudena; Sainz, Vanesa; Jacott, Liliana; Maldonado, Antonio (2016). 'Quantitative and qualitative study of social Justice Representations in Spanish and Argentinian primary school students' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

abstract The present study forms part of the development of the doctoral thesis of the first author and of our interdisciplinary research group (GICE: Educational Change for Social Justice). Our research group is working the concept of Social Justice from a theoretical framework of social justice based on the three dimensions proposed by Fraser (2009): Redistribution, Recognition and Representation and also in the work developed by Amartya Sen (1999) and Martha Nussbaum (2013) in relation to the capabilities approach. From our point of view, social justice is seen as a dynamic project, which should always be subject to reflection and improvement. We believe that this is how education should also be taken today, as always subject to change and constantly review project adapted to a culture and a certain time. Our research group agrees with a 3R´s model of Social Justice based in Fraser (2008) because we think that allows analyzing different dimensions interconnected in Education (Jacott and Maldonado, 2012):  - Redistribution (Rawls, 1971; Sen, 2009) of educative resources in a fair way. - Recognition (Fraser and Honneth, 2006) as respect to the differences and inequalities in education, and active promotion of them. - Representation(Fraser, 2008)  (also called participation) as the full participation in social life, especially for those who have been systematically excluded on the basis of gender, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation or other characteristics of group. We believe that it is essential to explore conceptions of children, for promote a change towards a quality education, that incorporates the ideas of the children in relation into the social justice, not only in educational questions, but also social and political. In this context, this research explores the ideas who have children of Primary Education about Social Justice in Madrid and in Buenos Aires, analyzing possible differences between the responses by gender, grade or country. Specifically, we have studied these ideas in a total of 970 students, distributed in a 4th grade (approximately: 9-10 years old), and 6th grade (approximately: 11-12 years old) of four public schools of Primary Education both of Madrid as of Buenos Aires. The instruments used were a questionnaire (970 students) and an interview (152 students), which consist of a set of dilemmas about hypothetical situations, but possible. The participants should make a decision between three possible alternatives, (in the questionnaire), or indicate which solution would propose for the raised dilemma (interview). We expect more complex representations in participants of 6th grade than of 4th grade, by developmental level. Moreover, we also expect a more elaborate concepts in girls than in boys, according to the results obtained of these authors: Metzger and Smetana, 2010; Eisenberg, 2006; Jaffe and Hayde, 2000. They indicated that girls are more prosocial in her behavior, thinking and affective response. And finally, we also think that will be differences in the ideas of students according to type of schools, country and environment. The main results obtained in the questionnaires, indicate statistically significant differences by gender, grade and country of participants with respect the dimensions of recognition and representation as well as in the global index of social justice. These results show that in these dimensions, girls, students of 11-12 years old, and participants of Madrid have ideas that are closer to social justice than boys, students of 9-10 years old and participants of Buenos Aires, respectively. At present, the answers given by children in the interviews are being analyzed in qualitative categories in order to deepen in the development of students' thinking about these social justice issues.      

scroll to top