The Intersections of Open Educational Practices and Equity Pedagogy

Call for papers for: Journal for Multicultural Education

Guest Editors: Stacy Katz & Jennifer Van Allen, Lehman College, CUNY

Over the last two decades, the benefits of open education have been heralded as reduced textbook costs in higher education (Hilton et al., 2014) and widened access to knowledge (Feldstein et al., 2010).  This has largely led to the reproduction of hegemonic materials, though ones that are more widely available (Brandle, 2019; Ferreira and Lemgruber, 2019).  United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has released a global call against racism and for schools to “promote inclusiveness,  solidarity,  gender  equality,  the culture of peace and non-violence and respect for others, and provide opportunities for students to reflect and discuss these issues and their personal responsibility” (UNESCO, 2020, para. 1).  

From a social justice perspective, open education is at an inflection point. Lambert’s (2018) analysis of open education through the social justice principles of redistributive, recognitive, representational justice emphasizes the need for intentional, rather than implied social justice in open education.  Open educational practices, while not a panacea nor necessarily a social justice endeavor, provide opportunity to disrupt the hegemonic knowledge by centering students' voices through equity pedagogy.  In what ways are educators ensuring equity in open education practices (OEP)?  

Broadly defined, OEP includes open pedagogies and open sharing of teaching practices, as well as the creation, use, and remixing of OER (Cronin, 2017) through collaborative learning processes, knowledge creation, and learner empowerment.  Equity pedagogy centers the student and recognizes that teaching is a multicultural encounter where the complexity of students’ lived experiences (e.g., cultural, racial, ethnic, gender identity, abilities, etc.) enrich the classroom (McGee Banks and Banks, 1995). At the intersection of OEP and equity pedagogy, students openly contribute to a global community of learners who acquire, interrogate, reconstruct, and produce knowledge (McGee Banks and Banks, 1995).  This special issue explores the intersection of open educational practices (OEP) and equity pedagogy. 

Equity pedagogy provides a lens to examine how open educators achieve recognitive and representational forms of social justice through OEP.  Recent publications, such as Open at the Margins (Bali et al., 2020) and the Special Collection on Open Education and Social Justice in Journal of Interactive Media in Education (Lambert and Czerniewicz, 2020) have broadened the conversation around open education by problematizing the dominant narrative and asking critical questions, whereas this issue contributes to the existing scholarly literature with a focus on pedagogy.  Additionally, a large body of research on open education is positioned within higher education contexts.  In this special issue, we are soliciting articles from researchers and practitioners that show how educators and learners address these critical questions about open education to center equity pedagogy in their research and practice, particularly in primary and secondary schooling in addition to other educational contexts.

Articles will be sought that:

  • Problematize open education and equity, providing examples of the limitations of open and when it may not suit all needs or contexts
  • Demonstrate applications of equity pedagogy in an open context
  • Describe open educational practices, particularly in primary and secondary schooling in addition to other educational contexts
  • Share theoretical pieces that highlight traditionally underrepresented perspectives in open education
  • Provide qualitative and quantitative research on open educational practices and equity
  • Discuss practical applications of open education showcasing ways in which students are co-constructors of knowledge to prioritize non-dominant perspectives

Submission Instructions

The deadline for submitting papers is December 22, 2021. Journal submissions should be made through the journal website.

Submissions should be approximately 3000 to 6000 words in length with references in the Harvard Style.

More author guidelines for submission can be found here. Please contact Professor Stacy Katz with questions at [email protected].

The issue will be published under an open license thanks to the generosity of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


Bali, M., Cronin, C., and Jhangiani, R.S. (2020) ‘Framing open educational practices from a social justice perspective’, Journal of Interactive Media in Education, Vol. 2020 No. 1, doi: 10.5334/jime.565.

Brandle, S.M. (2020) ‘It’s (not) in the reading: American government textbooks’ limited representation of historically marginalized groups’, PS: Political Science & Politics, Vol. 53 No.4, pp. 734-740, doi: 10.1017/S1049096520000797.

Cronin, C. (2017) ‘Openness and Praxis: Exploring the use of Open Educational Practices in higher education’, The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Vol. 18 No.5, doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v18i5.3096.

Feldstein, A., Martin, M., Hudson, A., Warren, K., Hilton, J., and Wiley, D. (2010) ‘Open textbooks and increased student access and outcomes’, European Journal of Open, Distance, and E-Learning, Vol. 2, available at: (accessed 28 April 2021).

Ferriera, G. M., and Lemgruber, M.S. (2019) ‘Great expectations: A critical perspective on Open Educational Resources in Brazil’, Learning, Media, and Technology, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 315-326, doi: 10.1080/17439884.2019.1639190.

Hilton, J.L., Robinson, J., Wiley, D., and Ackerman, J.D. (2014) ‘Cost savings achieved in two semesters through the adoption of Open Educational Resources’, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 67-84, doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v15i2.1700.

Lambert, S.R. (2018) ‘Changing our (dis)course: A distinctive social justice aligned definition of open education’, Journal of Learning for Development, Vol. 5 No. 3, available at: (accessed on 28 April 2021).

Lambert, S.R. and Czerniewicz, L. (Eds.). (2020) ‘Open education and social justice [Special issue]’ Journal of Interactive Media in Education, Vol. 2020 No. 1, available at: (accessed on 28 April 2021).

McGee Banks, C.A., and Banks, J.A. (1995) ‘Equity pedagogy: An essential component of multicultural education’ Theory into Practice, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 152-158, available at: (accessed on 28 April 2021).

United Nations Educational Scientific, and Cultural Organization. (2020) Global call against RACISM, UNESCO, available at: (accessed on 28 April 2021).