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This project explores education as and for epistemic, environmental and transitional justice to enable sustainable development.

Project status



1 Nov 2020 to 31 Oct 2023

This project recognises that the links between education and sustainable development are premised on complex manifestations of justice in and through education, and they should be researched as such.

Attending to both the lived experiences of secondary education and the complex trajectories across policies, curricula, classroom teaching and learning outcomes, we aim to explore the degree to which experiences of (in)justice through schooling and learning about (in)justice in schools can drive the intended actions of secondary school learners to meet Sustainable Development Goal 10 (reducing inequalities), 13 (climate action) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).

JustEd research findings: evidence briefs

JustEd: Education as and for environmental, epistemic and transitional justice to enable sustainable development: Evidence Brief 1

This evidence brief is available in English and Spanish:

Beyond “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education” (SDG 4), education is expected to play a key role in relation to the goals of promoting climate action (SDG13), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16) and reduced inequalities (SDG10). The JustEd research project has explored these assumptions and considered more robust ways that education can support a range of national and global development priorities. Our key findings enrich understanding of (in)justice in education and can be useful for analysing the ways that education can enable more just futures.

The importance of a justice-based approach to secondary school curriculum and pedgagogy: Evidence brief 2

In this evidence brief, we outline the six dimensions of a justice-based approach to secondary curriculum and pedagogy that we have developed as a result of our findings. We see these as inter-related and essential approaches that can provide the necessary support for learners to be able to analyse and evaluate justice-related issues, understand the world around them, and enable them to take positive action, particularly related to peace, climate action and reducing inequalities.

Education as justice across the system: Evidence brief 3

In this evidence brief, we demonstrate the complex trajectories between secondary education and its intended outcomes in relation to the sustainable development goals (SDGs). A central assumption of the role of education for enabling sustainable development is that what is learnt in school will translate into positive attitudes and behaviours. Education’s contribution can assume linear trajectories in global and national policy documentation, with an emphasis on policy and curricular content following through to positive outcomes. However, our findings show that these trajectories are more complicated and depend on a range of factors within the education system, notably in relation to pedagogy, the school environment and assessment.

JustEd research findings: resources for policy and practice

Justice, safety and dignity in education to advance the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons for policy and practice from the JustEd study

This policy brief offers recommendations to increase the effectiveness of education's contributions to the SDGs by giving greater priority to young people's experiences of justice, safety and dignity in school.

Embedding a justice approach in secondary education: A practical guide for teachers and teacher trainers

This guide is available as a general overview and as a specific version focused on Uganda:

This guide aims to engage secondary school teachers and teacher educators in three distinct, but interconnected aspects of justice – environmental, epistemic and transitional justice – and provide guidance and tools to help them embed a justice approach in their teaching and educational practice.

Advancing climate action, justice and equity goals through environmental education: Lessons for policy and practice from the JustEd study

This policy brief reports findings from a large international study that explored environmental education in secondary schooling. It offers recommendations to increase the effectiveness of education’s contributions to climate action goals in ways that also advance justice and equity.

Research focus

Types of justice and the relationships

We focus on three specific types of justice (and the relationships between them) that have been underexplored in education and international development to date. These include:

  • environmental justice - which seeks to balance human and environmental rights in order that both might exist sustainably, recognising the unfair distribution of the effects of climate change
  • epistemic justice - which values different knowledges and the peoples who hold them, working against the exclusion of multiple ways of understanding the world
  • transitional justice - which repairs wrongs of the past, acknowledging the importance of responsibility and reconciliation for possibilities of future peacebuilding

Explore the linkages 

Using an exploratory mixed methods research design, we will explore linkages between:

  • justice and injustice in education policy and decision-making processes, curricula and textbooks
  • learners’ lived experiences of justice in secondary schools
  • learners’ knowledge of justice as an outcome of schooling, and
  • learners’ intended actions for contributing towards SDG 13 and 16

Work regionally

We work in three regions affected by environmental, epistemic and transitional injustice:

  • Western Nepal, where the legacies of conflict and risk of natural disaster disproportionately affect rural, indigenous communities
  • Andean Peru, where natural resource extraction exacerbates poverty for indigenous communities who were disproportionately victims of Peru’s armed conflict
  • Northern Uganda, where conflict has led to unsustainable livelihood strategies (such as charcoal production) and economic marginalisation

Team members

Principal Investigator


  • Ganesh Singh, Tribhuvan University
  • Mrigendra Karki, Tribhuvan University
  • Mohan Paudel, Tribhuvan University
  • Srijana Ranabhat, Tribhuvan University
  • Ashik Singh, Tribhuvan University
  • Sushil Sharma, Tribhuvan University




  • Julia Paulson, University of Bristol
  • Robin Shields, University of Bristol
  • Neşe Soysal, University of Bath
  • Rachel Wilder, University of Bath

Social media

The JustEd research team are active on social media, sharing updates on the project and engaging with current issues. Follow JustEd on Twitter

Funding provider

This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

Background papers

If you have any further questions about our discussion papers, please contact or

Researcher-oriented outputs

Academic publications currently under preparation.

Our work across the world

Scroll through our gallery of images from our work in Nepal, Peru and Uganda.

JustEd regional work

Find out more about this research project

Detailed project information

Contact us

Contact us if you have any questions about this research project, or our background papers.