The Editors of the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATION POLICIES, invite you to submit an abstract for a Special Issue of the Journal for 2019.  Papers will be selected that present how you and/or your work partners, co-scholars, conduct either formally or informally, social justice education work in and out of school. Manuscript submissions (both short reports and full-length articles, i.e. approximately, 2000 to 8000 words respectively.)

·         In addition to your paper, you are encouraged to send a substantially informative abstractwhich is a summary of a paper’s substance including its background, purpose, methods of study, including a statement of ways yours and/or your study partners’ work is representative of the model set forth in the above Call for Papers overview.

·         Please send in a brief biography of author(s)

·         Your submission should be in English please.


Papers will be due February15, 2020.

Completed papers will be published in IJEP    url: http//


Papers should reflect scholarship that reflects on the social context of pressing issues that affect education in challenging times. The example of social scientist C. Wright Mills and especially, his seminal publication THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION, serve as a focus and inspiration for this invitation.  Mills worked “against the grain” of the exclusionary, unequal society in which he worked and studied in a time, with that seminal publication in 1959. In his chapter “The Promise” which contributors are invited to consult; he argues many points. But no point is more important than the constant call for research which reflects on and responds to conditions in education which are impacted by social problems that arise from preventable injustices. The sustained critical study of these conditions, including the idea that research should be driven by the universal social goal of a democratic, inclusive, responsive citizenship.  It is research which also reflects and reports on actually existing communities, institutions and individual “projects” which seek to emancipate, to transform social arrangements from oppression toward “enlightenment” of mind and body. Reports of ongoing efforts in communities, schools, organizations are all welcome. Studies of such efforts and their impact are also welcome. 



Dr. Guy Senese,

Professor Emeritus, Social Foundations of Education, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona

Adjunct Faculty in Ethnic, Gender and Transborder Studies, and Sociology, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.

Operating and Curriculum Committee, Salt of the Earth Labor College, Tucson, Az.


Scholar-educators take for granted their contribution to the growth of disciplinary knowledge, where Social Science informs the purpose of public education at every level. Many of you began careers inspired by the civic, democratic, human rights struggles which gave purpose to the idea of justice and law which respects and is dedicated to the “overall growth and development” of every person. We would join this effort to eradicate unjust prejudices which parceled out public goods and education unfairly, according to the discriminations mirrored the historical injustices of imperialism, exploitation, human bondage, racism, gender bias, and the multiple interconnecting chains that bound the public. The ongoing project of securing human freedom was ours to join. This journal is dedicated to critical scholarship in education policy, and those areas under the purview of public policy.  Yet we are in a time when our public spaces and institutions are being devalued. Under current conditions the very value of public institutions is being challenged. Our work as civil “servants” has edged us toward being in service to economic hegemons which manipulate schooling for conformity to, and passivity about our pressing problems. All this takes place in societies are facing critical points in their development, where large challenges are becoming increasingly complex.

The very term “policy,” imbedded in the journal’s title and purpose, assumes that public, democratic institutions, and their administration of laws can, with study, criticism and revision, serve the greater good.  Educators working to serve these ends as scholars and social justice advocates, operate in hundreds of ways at myriad sites to effect positive change. C.Wright Mills wrote about the distortions of democracy under increasing concentrations of power, influence. He saw how emancipatory ideals of democratic justice were violated by what he called The Power Elite.  This elite was an interlocking directorate of corporate, legislative, educational, and clerical powers, who supported imperialist, capitalist goals in his home country. These groups were suffocating the voice of scholars, activists, teachers, workers, lawyers, and well…citizens, who had higher hopes for the transformation of twentieth century material progress into the stuff of justice.

Despite such power, conditions were resisted actively, in communities and schools around the world, sometimes with a small project in what must have seemed to participants to be a small boat in a flood. However, they persisted. Gains were made, the result of these knowledge workers, yet are threatened in new ways under current and recent conditions.  Efforts to roll back the progress of a thousand movements face us as we enter every public space.

Mills’ international contemporaries also worked “against the grain” for a social science that is responsive to the best ideals of the public, in a time of turmoil, where the political economic stress reaches a point of crisis. Mills concern with social problems caused by undemocratic consolidations of economic and political institutions, was not only an abstraction.  When the voice of the common person is excluded from power, it is personal. When persons are excluded unjustly from the fruits of public and private enterprise it is personal. Indeed, Mills argues that these exclusions were first felt as personal problems. Yet he saw that social science methods for research and investigation were increasingly lacking the personal urgency, or what education philosopher John Dewey might term, the “felt need” of ordinary people in struggle, hoping for a fair chance to pursue the safety and opportunity enjoyed by the privileged. This kind of scholarship is not abstract, rather it is concrete, and uses many methods of investigation and narrative expression to tell the story of communities in struggle.  Mills encouraged, even more, insisted that we know how our personal lives and philosophic commitments engage with the persons we engage with, and study. 

Along with an encouragement to bring your work to this edition with a personal commitment, I share a bit of mine here.  I was gifted to spend time over thirty-five year with many scholars, and most valued those who connected their commitments to social justice in education sciences with the lives of their students, and the working-class families who wanted better lives for their children. Commitments to those left out, excluded, were most inspiring. 

As Professor, now Emeritus at a regional campus in Arizona, those were my role models.These scholar/teachers supportedthe human right to educational opportunity for working class families, including indigenous tribal citizens. I saw their detailed work, in schools, in communities--unglamorous, hard work.  More recently I had the special gift of a five-year academic collaboration with educators, teachers, school administrators in training, professors, adult educators in Turkey.  At both Ankara University and Middle Eastern Technical University, I was able to learn and teach.  In Ankara I saw how, to borrow a phrase from mine and mill organizers in the history of my adopted region, the Southwest U.S., we are united in a kind of “One Big Union” that connects humans in common struggle for dignity and fairness.

I became familiar with active and activist professors and students, and other public intellectuals, with strong commitments to justice.I saw how they also face uncertainty, disillusionment, and personal conflict, where their ideals of public service are challenged every work day. It was there that I began to see that it was in the stories of “projects” which represented the commitment to community, and solidarity were so powerful.  I determined to make my own work represent these ideals, and discussed with colleagues how this committed scholarship, which shares the personal, the historic, the lives and stories, including the story surrounding the research work, observations, difficulties, triumphs small and large, and failures we have experienced and which gives meaning to our lives as educators and scholars. Many of these choices we make we do so without reward, with some risk, yet they represent the meaning of our lives. 

As I begin to think of an introduction to this Special Edition, I am already working to discuss my own current “project” work, and how this work represents what I claim to truly believe.  There I will briefly report on of classroom teaching efforts in Adult Education, with a Jobs for Justice community, and theSalt of the Earth Labor College, small butwith a big heartand not one just “on its’ sleeve.” It is a community, and it labors.

We all face student, family, and community expectations, with fewer and fewer resources to serve the democratic and ethical ends stated in the foundational and constitutional purposes of our service. Those of you who have research and personal experience of engaged social service are in that company Mills kept, but under serious new conditions.  We all do our work and our study closely among, and often alongside of those affected by new pressures: migration, rising inequality, insecure, marginal employment, security threats, information monopoly and concentration, environmental challenges, uneven globalization, growing public discontent, resistance and its oppression, increasing exclusion of the masses, gender, racial, and ethnic divides and oppressions, as the marginalized first struggle first for existence, then safety, toward civic recognition and justice.

I mentioned earlier the “ongoing project” of securing justice and human freedom, a broad goal to be sure! Your work in schools and seek to serve inclusive justice when performance metrics are sanctified. You work in centers for popular education where you see working men and women moving toward transformations that are more difficult than ever.  You see teachers in training and seek to broaden their vision of possibility where that language is discouraged and even demonized.  You are invited to share your observation and/or participation in these areas.

Projects and their description, the qualitative and personal data and storytelling are welcome. This can be the study of anactivity in a specific school or community site in all its complexity, including stories of “projects” which are ongoing. It can be teaching activity at any level of instruction. We seek also to honor Mills and the “world college” of scholars who say that social science is stronger when it is connected to story, to history, personal, and political, and who are honored to work in solidarity with our union of human beings all seeking justice and fair life chances. 

For this effort to be honest scholars acknowledge that the public and its problems, especially where the interests of working and disenfranchised people are concerned, are not well served by so-called “disinterested” scholarship, and the too often trivial, disconnected observations that drive too much education research. On Mills’ terms, “general social structure, and history” are essential for scholarship that serves all the public most wisely, meaning most democratically, with the finest ideal of fairness, and an impartiality which is unapologetically “partial” to justice and equal opportunity.    I have purposely used the you and I as terms here to encourage you to bring your stories, along with your data, and not to shy from the poetics of imagination which make education a human right in its human complexity. Without this dimension, both we and our “subjects” are further objectified, and we risk having a narrow subject, where persons are just “samples” like so many commodities, stacked for use or discarded, either being insufficient for our times, or just irrelevant.  

So, just as Mills advocated that scholars remember that pubic scholarship is engaged by its very nature, we seek to tell truths that build our community.  We are especially interested in papers that tell a story of your engagement and your subject’s engagement. We look forward to your stories.

Thank You

in solidarity,


Guy Senese