Developing Social Justice Competencies: A Consultation Training Approach

Abstract

The social science and education fields are increasingly looking to non-traditional pedagogical methods as a way to increase
students’ awareness of social justice issues. Critical inquiry projects, human rights education, and service learning models
are some of the theoretically grounded approaches that advocate for novel ways of increasing social justice awareness in education.
In this article, we propose a model of social justice consultation training activities that build on key principles of social
justice work, core components of social justice competencies, and the American Psychological Association Guidelines on Multicultural
Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists. We present the Climate Initiative case
study to illustrate consultation training activities designed to promote social justice competencies. The Climate Initiative
was a collaborative project between class members in a multicultural issues in counseling course and a social justice–oriented
prison education program. We have included a summary of self-reflection experiences and evaluations of the process by counseling
psychology trainees and students. Future recommendations for utilizing the consultation approach as a non-traditional teaching
method are also provided.

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