As an educator of our youth, I believe that it is my responsibility to guide my students into having an open mind about social justice, prejudice, and exclusion. At a young age, students should be guided, rather than taught to stand up against these prominent issues that we see everyday. The primary goal of Social Justice Education is to prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to confront social inequality in society and promote equity within their sphere of influence (Adams, 2010). As teachers we are some of the biggest role models our students have and if we take the time to show our students how to stand up for prejudice, social justice, and exclusion, the future may become a better place. Poplin (2005) states, Teachers must be educated to understand their responsibilities regarding the content of their instruction and the results they are to achieve for all the students they teach. To do this, teachers must know and be able to work effectively with state standards and assessments.I truly believe this reflects all areas of teaching.
I believe that students should be exposed to these issues at the elementary school level. If teachers model to students at a young age, the students may follow and remember their rights and the rights of others. As the students get older, they are exposed to more and more issues and it is difficult to reshape their minds. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. I believe that if this is instilled at a young age, students will have an open mind regarding others.
Adams, M., & Marchesani, L. (1997). Multiple issues course overview. In M. Adams, L. A. Bell,& P Griffin (Eds.), Teaching for diversity and social justice (pp. 261-275). New York: Routledge.
Poplin, M., & Rivera, J. (2005). Merging Social Justice and Accountability: Educating Qualified and Effective Teachers. Theory Into Practice, 27-37.
Struthers, A. C. (2016). Human Rights: A Topic Too Controversial for Mainstream Education?. Human Rights Law Review, 16(1), 131-162. doi:10.1093/hrlr/ngv040