The Emotional Ambivalence of Socially Just Teaching: A Case Study of a Novice Urban Schoolteacher

Document Type




Format of Original

45 p.

Publication Date



SAGE Publications

Source Publication

American Educational Research Journal

Source ISSN



The authors contend that studying emotional perspectives can facilitate understanding of the complexities of socially just teaching. They explore the intersection between emotions and socially just teaching via a case study of a White novice teacher at one urban school as she struggles to formulate socially just teaching practices. Drawing from feminist and critical theory, the authors propose the term critical emotional praxis to denote critical praxis informed by emotional resistance to unjust pedagogical systems and practices. The authors’ analysis may assist in the development of socially just teachers: First, emotions and their expression play an important, ongoing role in socially just teaching, and second, emotional negotiation related to socially just teaching can provide deeper understanding of possible change, perhaps even in counterresponse to wider social, political contexts of schools.


American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 45, No. 2 (June 2008): 274-318. DOI.