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Filling the Social Justice Gap 

Project Member(s): Berg, L.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Learning & Teaching Council (Australian Learning and Teaching Council Fund)

Start year: 2014

Summary: This project aims to develop curricula for Australian university courses that teach social justice (including human rights, law, development, public health, and peace and conflict). Teaching university students social justice principles and practice is important in encouraging civic engagement and participation in community life, and building social capital. University students -including those studying social-justice-related-courses- often undertake study with practical or vocational goals. However there is often criticism that a gap exists between theoretical learning and practical experience in university courses teaching social justice. In other words, there is concern that university studies do not provide the opportunity to explore how theoretical learning and critical analysis skills are applied, in the implementation of social justice programs and campaigns on the ground. The aim of this project is to close this gap between theoretical learning and practical experience when teaching social justice principles and practice. This will be done by: ¿ Working with faculty members from seven universities across Australia to develop social justice-related curricula using simulations ¿ Developing pedagogical tools to teach students social justice-related skills such as lobbying, working with the media, and collaborating with partners ¿ Applying these tools to a range of social justice scenarios ¿ Holding simulation practicums at each university ¿ Publishing and disseminating both written and video material to a range of educators, students, practitioners, and community stakeholders


Berg, L 2021, 'Simulated role-play' in Grimes, R, Honuskova, V & Stege, U (eds), Teaching Migration and Asylum Law, Routledge, UK, pp. 147-154.
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McGaughey, F, Hartley, L, Banki, S, Duffill, P, Stubbs, M, Orchard, P, Rice, S, Berg, L & Kerdo, PP 2019, '‘Finally an academic approach that prepares you for the real world’: simulations for human rights skills development in higher education', Human Rights Education Review, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 70-93.
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Berg, LA, Banki, S, Stubbs, M, Duffill, P, Rice, S, Hartley, L, McGaughey, F, Kerdo, P & Orchard, P Office for Teaching and Learning, Cth 2016, Social Justice Exercise Manual.

Berg, LA, Banki, S, Stubbs, M, Rice, S, Duffill, P, Kerdo, P, Hartley, L, Orchard, P & McGaughey, F Office of Teaching and Learning, Cth 2016, Social Justice Case Studies.

Keywords: teaching, simulation, social justice cirricula

FOR Codes: Human Rights Law, Teaching and Instruction Technologies, Domestic human rights law