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Social Justice 12 Course

What is Social Justice 12?

This is an exciting elective course that is currently being offered in some school districts in BC. It was approved by the Ministry of Education in August 2008.

The course focuses on a wide variety of social justice issues. The 2008 IRP is well laid out with specific PLOs which move students through three stages of social engagement. Initially, awareness of social justice issues is developed as students begin to explore SJ issues from various perspectives. Next, students analyze SJ issues to gain a more thorough understanding of them. Finally, students pick specific issues to focus on and develop their own personal action plans for making change in an area they feel passionate about. In this way, they progress from awareness to analysis and action on a social justice topic of their choice.

The course is an excellent opportunity for students to become agents of change regarding relevant social justice issues that affect their lives and communities.

Social Justice 12 Curriculum
2008 Social Justice 12 Curriculum
Social Justice 12 Draft Revised Curriculum
Social Justice 12 Draft Revised Curriculum with Elaborations

"Making Space," is another resource document to support teachers in discussing social justice issues across the K-12 curriculum, available on the Ministry of Education website at

How schools can support Social Justice 12

Here are some quick ideas on how to encourage secondary schools in your local to offer Social Justice 12 in the coming semester.

What schools can do:

  • Ask school counsellors to list the course in calendars so that students have the option to sign up for it.
  • Talk it up with students in Global Issues, Multicultural or Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Clubs to create a “buzz” for the course.
  • Let all Grade 11 and 12 students know that they can register for it. Tell them that this course has no prerequisites.
  • Encourage colleagues who are passionate about Social Justice issues to teach it.
  • Post a vacancy for a job in your school if there are enough students signed up to take it and no staff member volunteers to teach the course.
  • Explain to your principal and colleagues that this is a course where students can learn about social justice and injustices, think critically and analyze issues and then act to make positive change in their community and the world. The course covers many forms of oppression and is intersectional in nature.
  • Inform students and parents about the content of the course. Page 33 of the IRP gives an excellent overview of the course.

SJ 12 Resources

Sample Descriptions for Course Selection Calendars

  1. “What is social justice?  Social Justice is the assurance that the basic human rights of all people are upheld.  Examine social justice issues such as racism, homophobia, sexism, poverty, and globalization. This course will offer you the opportunity to look at the causes and consequences of oppression and injustice, both in Canada and globally. Challenge yourself to be an educated, fair and open-minded global citizen! This is a project and research based course.”
  2. “Develop ethical reasoning skills as you explore issues of oppression and injustice in a Canadian and Global context.  You will be asked to define personal and social responsibility when examining oppression based on ability, age, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, marital and family status.  You will analyze both the causes and consequences of injustice and explore viable solutions by understanding how social change has occurred in the past.  Challenge yourself to become an ethical, socially responsible global citizen. This is a case study and research based course.  There is no final exam, but a final action project will be required of all students.”

Social Justice 12 Success in Abbotsford

Watch this video to gain an understanding on the BCTF's Social Justice 12 Conference in Abbotsford. Students there successfully rallied to have the SJ 12 course reinstated after it was banned by the local school board. Many of these students participated in the conference.

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