577 Social Justice Reflection

  1. Do you have any new insights after the class experience concerning social justice?

One of the biggest insights that I have taken way from this class is the need to become self-aware in society. I think this will only help improve the issues in society. Noticing the aspects of society that are not right, and pointing them out as an individual, and addressing the situations is essential to the growth of social justice reform in this country. Becoming self-aware of social justice issues in the country and the world, will only help impact the problems in society for the better.

  1. Do you have any new concerns about social justice?

One of the major concerns I have about social justice is it a topic covered everywhere in the United States? There are so many aspects to this question that need to be covered. For one, are the teacher qualified and aware of the need for social justice education? Many teachers may not think about social justice issues and the awareness of their students. Without this course, I may have never thought about teaching my students (elementary) the basics about social justice issues. Creating students who are self-aware about social justice issues starts with education. Making sure students are prepared to take on the social justice issues in the world is a necessity. Two, are there areas in the country who are resistance to the teaching of social justice issues in the world? I personally feel there are places in this country that are resistant, or support social issues in our country. How do we educate students to fight against an issue that is an everyday occurrence in their lives? That would be my one big concern is assuring we are able to educate all students on social justice issues, not just a few.

 

  1. What is your philosophy of integrating social justice in the classroom?

I believe it is a necessity to integrate social justice into the classroom. Whether it be teaching the basic vocabulary terms and minor issues in the elementary schools, or diving into the deeper topics in the high school, students need to learn about these issues in the classroom. One of the biggest takeaways from this course is assuring students become self-aware. Giving students the tools they need to go out in society and make a difference is essential in succeeding in making strides when it comes to social justice issues in the country.

Kyle Jarrell

Our Responsibility

What do you perceive your responsibility as an educator to be to standing up against exclusion, prejudice, and injustice?

As educators, we have a tremendous responsibility to stand up against exclusion, prejudice, and injustice. We, as teachers, deal with students who are all unique and different from one another. Race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, these are just a few things that differ from student to student. We need to be able to be positive role models for our students, and stand up to items such as exclusion, prejudices, and injustices. Being exemplary role models for the students, will show them how to stand up to items such as the ones listed above. Also, exposing students and educating them about these aspects of society, will help them begin to notice them, and be aware of the different situations where they see these things in their lives. I feel my main responsibility is to teach all students how to stand up against, exclusion, prejudice and injustice.

One point made by author Alison E.C. Struthers is  “A further reform that would be likely to stimulate this mainstreaming of HRE within state policy is the second suggestion made above: improving training on human rights and HRE within national teacher education programmes.” (Struthers, 2016, 30). I think this is something that is lacking in professional development within the schools. As someone who was hired this past year, I unfortunately had no training when it came to Human Rights Education. I think giving teachers the tools to be successful when it came to teaching students to notice, and stand up against exclusion, prejudice and injustice, we would be more successful in eliminating the times it is seen within our schools.

One aspect talked about in the Poplin and Rivera article was the importance of closing the gap in schools. I think they offered a great idea on page 35 when they said “Partnering with schools that are closing the achievement gaps so that candidates are placed with effective teachers in effective schools. Hiring those teachers to help instruct our candidates.” (Poplin, 2005,35). We need to use these teachers who have successfully integrated these resources into the classroom. We need to continue to make the changes necessary to make the educators across the country successful when standing up against exclusion, prejudice and injustice, and what better tool than teachers who have successfully taught how to do this. It is so important to continue to learn about these topics, and show students the progress being made. Also, continuing to learn about these topics only help better the materials you teach the students.  “While the findings indicate that I am “walking my talk” when teaching action research, it is necessary to continue investigating how teachers and candidates become change agents and the role that an AE approach plays in such a process since there remains a paucity of literature exploring pedagogy in action research courses.” (Storms, 2013). When it comes to teaching about standing up to exclusion, prejudice and injustice, we need to set examples for our students. By making sure we are equipped with the necessary tools and materials to be successful, will only make them successful when implementing the tools we teach into their lives. #577

Poplin, M., & Rivera, J. (2005). Merging Social Justice and Accountability: Educating Qualified and Effective Teachers. Theory Into Practice, 44(1), 27-37 doi:10.1207/s15430421tip4401_5

Storms, S. B. (2013). Preparing Teachers for Social Justice Advocacy. Multicultural Education, 20(2), 33-39.

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