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Race, Social Justice, and University Language Programs From an International Perspective  

Elisa Gavari Starkie and Paula Tenca Sidotti

The democratization of university access made possible the arrival of new university students from different backgrounds. At this time access was opened to all individuals coming from all different backgrounds. The new student population had a strong impact on the university life. Some university professors complained that although some students were talented, they could not communicate in complex scenarios. The article will focus on the theoretical principles that inspired the democratic curriculum and the psychological approach that allowed new individual cognitive perspectives and a new vision of the university population. At this time the education principles by Freire and Dewey generated an impulse for democratic education. From this framework the article will analyze the research and educational principles that inspired the Writing Across Curriculums (WAC) movement and the supplementary Writing in the Disciplines (WID). Both programs were very successful and led to the establishment of the Writing Academic Centers that since then and until now guarantee a democratic university education. These centers have fostered WAC, which developed into WID. The need to address global classrooms has inspired Writing Across the Communities, which considers race and social justice within language programs. The university scientific approach is aligned with the international organization’s objectives for the 20th century.