The Social Justice Standards are comprised of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes divided into four domains—Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action (IDJA). The Standards provide a common language and organizational structure: Teachers can use them to guide curriculum development, and administrators can use them to make schools more just, equitable and safe. The Standards are leveled for every stage of K–12 education and includes school-based scenarios to show what anti-bias attitudes and behavior may look like in the classroom.
Teaching about IDJA allows educators to engage a range of anti-bias, multicultural and social justice issues. This continuum of engagement is unique among social justice teaching materials, which tend to focus on one of two areas: either reducing prejudice or advocating collective action. Prejudice reduction seeks to minimize conflict and generally focuses on changing the attitudes and behaviors of a dominant group. Collective action challenges inequality directly by raising consciousness and focusing on improving conditions for under-represented groups. The Social Justice Standards recognize that, in today’s diverse classrooms, students need knowledge and skills related to both prejudice reduction and collective action.
The IDJA domains are based on Louise Derman-Sparks’ four goals for anti-bias education in early childhood.