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Research, Role Playing, and Social Justice

Designed for the Active Learning Leaders Teaching Conference on October 29, 2016. Active learning is essential for students to develop a deeper understanding and engage in topics in a more meaningful way particularly with social justice issues. Attendees

Game-based Role Playing Literature

Social Justice

Blomley, N. (2009). Social Justice. In D. Gregory, The dictionary of human geography. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishers. Retrieved from "" to

A standard used to assess the fairness of a society. Justice is a central moral standard that requires the fair and impartial treatment of all. Social justice differs from other realms of justice, such as that relating to the application of law, being centrally concerned with the fairness of a social order and its attendant distributions of rewards and costs. Determining how fairness is to be assessed, and according to which principle, is an issue of fierce debate. Different criteria, including equality, entitlement, recognition or need, yield different principles of justice.

Social justice has long been a rallying cry for many social movements. The arguments of poor communities of colour that they are disproportionately burdened by environmental externalities, the claim by unions for better compensation or the democratization of the workplace, or the organizing of anti-capitalist globalization (anti-globalization) movements are all motivated, in part, by the powerful claim that prevailing social social arrangements should be fairer. The injustice of many social relationships, distributions and arrangements has long been the focus of a rich scholarly and activist tradition (activism).


Active Learning

  • Active learning is listed as one of seven principles to improve undergraduate education by Chickering and Gamson (1987).
  • Bonwell & Eison (1991) defined active learning as anything that "involves students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing” (p.2).
  • Active learning is “the process of keeping students mentally, and often physically, active in their learning through activities that involve them in gathering information, thinking, and problem solving” (Collins and O'Brien, 2003, p.5).