Education students won’t have to demonstrate a “social justice” disposition to graduate under National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education guidelines. Under pressure from Foundation for Individual Rights in Education FIRE) and others, NCATE President Arthur Wise announced “social justice,” vague and easily abused, will be dropped from the list of “dispositions” would-be teachers should demonstrate.

The standards require that candidates in an education program “demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn.” The NCATE language to be changed currently states that “dispositions” are “guided by beliefs and attitudes related to values such as caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and social justice.”

Wise was appearing before an Education Department committee when he made the announcement. “Dispositions” critics were there too. Insigher Higher Ed reports:

So Wise preempted his detractors. “I categorically deny the assertion that NCATE has a mandatory ’social justice’ standard,” Wise testified. “We don’t endorse political and social ideologies. We endorse academic freedom, and we base our standards on knowledge, skills and professional disposition.”

And then, Wise threw the witnesses a bone, announcing that NCATE had decided to eliminate references to “social justice” from its current glossary because “the term is susceptible to a variety of definitions.”

NCATE won’t “discourage its member programs from incorporating social justice in the curriculum,” Wise said. So the indoctrination controversy will continue in the ed schools.

About Joanne


  1. Wayne Martin says:

    Here’s one source of working definitions of “social justice:


    Not certain why only students who are willing to parrot these ideas should become teachers.

  2. You wouldn’t want to turn out teachers who have a soft spot in their hearts for social injustice, now would you? There you go.

    Besides, “unassailable moral perfection” is a bit clumsy and doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker.