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Why joy in education is an issue for socially just policies

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    Rights statement: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journal of Education Policy, 2012. Copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02680939.2012.710019 © Griffiths, M. (2012). Why joy in education is an issue for socially just policies. Journal of Education Policy, 27(5), 655-670.

    Accepted author manuscript, 405 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-670
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012


The paper presents an argument that the usual account of social justice in formal education is too narrow. That account concerns itself only with the outcomes of education or only with general ethical precepts, such as 'recognition'. I argue that it should also concern itself with living educational experiences as part of what makes a good life. I begin by noting that people find value in education for three linked but analytically separable reasons which I label: instrumental, inherent and integral. The last of these focuses on the value of education as part of what it is to live a good life. I point out how the usual accounts of social justice in education are seldom concerned with specifically educational experiences within formal education and that there is little clarity about the contribution of such experiences to living a good life. I offer a provisional account of specifically educational goods in experiences of education, and compare this to research and policy on enjoyment and engagement concluding that the significance of joy in education should be recognised within education policy.

    Research areas

  • social justice , education policy , enjoyment , engagement , experience , schooling

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