A Social Justice Framework for Understanding Open Educational Resources and Practices in the Global South
At the heart of the open educational resources (OER) movement is the intention to provide affordable access to culturally relevant education to all. This imperative could be described as a desire to provide education in a manner consistent with social justice which, according to Fraser (2005), is understood as “parity of participation”. Drawing on her concept of social justice, we suggest a slight modification of Fraser’s framework for critically analysing ways in which the adoption and impact of OER and their undergirding open educational practices (OEP) might be considered socially just. We then provide illustrative examples from the cross-regional Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project (2014-2017) to show how this framework can assist in determining in what ways, if at all, the adoption of OER and enactment of OEP have responded to economic inequalities, cultural inequities and political exclusions in education. Furthermore, we employ Fraser’s (2005) concepts to identify whether these social changes are either “affirmative” (i.e., ameliorative) or “transformative” in their economic, cultural and political effects in the Global South education context.
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