The concept of “agency” lies at the core of many liberatory forms of education that draw from Paulo Freire’s theories of education raising learners’ critical consciousness and equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and networks to act for positive social change (Freire, 1970). The term agency is utilized widely across disciplines to refer to a variety of behaviors and actions. This article explores the concept of transformative agency, which lies at the center of educational projects, namely: peace education, human rights education, critical ethnic studies, and social justice education. These educational interventions have often been fought for and won through walkouts, massive student mobilizations (Solorzano & Delgado Bernal, 2001), and/or social movements exerting pressure on educational policymakers in distinct contexts (Bajaj, 2012). This article situates transformative agency within its larger theoretical and conceptual dimensions in order to offer scholars and practitioners important insights for their engaged work. The sections that follow offer an overview of discussions of agency in relevant scholarship and then posit a conceptual model for transformative agency in the fields of peace, human rights, and social justice education.
Bajaj, M. (2019). Conceptualizing Transformative Agency in Education for Peace, Human Rights, and Social Justice. International Journal of Human Rights Education, 2(1). Retrieved from https://repository.usfca.edu/ijhre/vol2/iss1/13