Andrew Levinton – EDUC 577 Final Reflection

This course has been a wonderful experience in discussing the personal perspectives people have in the realm of social justice. Although I have always lived my life as an educator who takes the issue of diversity in mind, this is the first time I have been exposed to the social justice standards and had a chance to learn how to implement them in my school today. It was valuable to learn about this concept as it helped me think about my past years in school and how the demographic has varied, as well as formed the culture in those districts.
One of the biggest takeaways that I took from this course is the concept of identity and how it shapes all of us. Students who have different backgrounds or personal aspects have opportunities to contribute to the classroom to promote the issue of social justice. It is when we learn to accept teachers, students, and citizens for their culture, ethnicity, social, as well as gender and economic aspects of their identity that we learn to instill a culture that is more welcoming and can progress the community as a whole. It was fun to use the voicethread activity to learn about everyone’s individual background and how people view their own identities because I now have a sense to look at my students who share traits with my peers in their lens.
I will take the experiences I have learned in this course and use them to get to know my students better and create a more comforting environment in my classroom as well as my school. I look forward to both progressing, as well as teaching my students to become these citizens of social justice and teaching them the importance of being a positive contributor in the role of diversity.

Thank you so much for a wonderful semester!


#finalreflection #577

Final Reflection- Ashley Wannermeyer

This has been my favorite ed tech class so far because I was able to take a lot of what I have learned and embed it right into my curriculum and gained knowledge of others in an educational setting. It was beneficial to explore different aspects of education and how different groups have had to make their own way in education, and still struggle. It was also beneficial to take a deeper look at stereotypes, stereotype threats and gave everyone another perspective of what it is like in our education system today.

My biggest take away from this class is the cultural component. I updated a lot of my cultural activities that I would do with a Global and Gourmet foods class. This year I really focused on the differences between culture, race and ethnicity. My students were very into the idea of knowing the difference as they would have their own debates in class. In the past I would just focus on the food aspect of their lives but was able to tie all ideas together to create one project that they all loved!

I never was really into the politics of education but now I can understand where we have come from and where we are going. It is important to realize that the school board is the biggest influence on the educational system. A lot of minority groups have had to advocate for themselves and push hard for change. Some are resistant to it and that can be human nature but it is important to integrate all students and have every student feel included. Schools are accepting, but forget about how that student may feel in a class where they do not know English, or they do not have recognition for their ethnicity, culture and holidays celebrated. This just has to do with keeping all educators diverse and knowledgeable about what may be going on with our students. For the first year since I have been at my school (4 years) they sent out a notice about ramadan and the effects it will have on our students and to understand they may not be cranky with you it is the fact they are hungry, tired and thirsty. This is just one example of how we can help our students be the best they can. Acknowledgement is huge and empathy means a lot to our students.

Thank you all for a great semester! Best of luck to everyone.

Ashley Wannermeyer


Final Reflect– Ariel Wiener

This course offered a myriad of insightful and useful information.  There were so many aspects of this course that I feel I can take away and use as an educator.  In the third module, we talked about social justice and the  justice standards. I feel that these standards are my biggest takeaway from our course.

 After being exposed to these standards for the first time (in this course) I am going to make sure I teach children to be global citizens by infusing justice, action, identity and diversity standards into the curriculum I teach. I think this is an overlooked yet imperative part of the standards that need to be taught from a young age. (as mentioned in my social justice picture essay the city is pushing for anti-bias training for all teachers).  I personally think that a lot of this could help mitigate what we read about in both Whistling Vivaldi  and Privilege Power and Difference.  In Module one, we were exposed (through our readings) to other perspectives of daily life besides our own.  This is also something that needs to be brought back into the classroom both for educators and students.  Educators need to be aware of how the cultural, social, economic etc. background of our students impacts every aspect of their lives. Through the social justice standards, students need to understand the aforementioned statement as well.  I believe that the social justice standards allow for an avenue in which we as educators can help to cultivate in our students the appreciation and valuing of multiple perspectives in all facets of life.

I am truly looking forward to being able to incorporate the social justice standards into my classroom with my 7/8 year old students! Thank you for such a wonderful and insightful semester everyone

#577 #reflection

Final Reflection 577

Students are diverse. They are diverse in their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, their ability level, gender, sexual orientation, age and perspectives. Therefore, students who learn in diverse settings are better problem solvers, more likely to attend college, less likely to be in prison later in life and are able to gain important social networking skills needed for employment. However, throughout history there has been a struggle for equality and equity in education. That is why it is imperative that educators consider all students when planning and implementing lessons.

Unfortunately, there are privileged and oppressed groups of people and this is due to socialization. From a young age, students are given the message that being white and a male equals success and knowledge. There are teachers who hold unconscious bias. In science and math classes, women are not called on or respected as much as their male counterparts. These realizations were shocking, but unfortunately relatable and understandable at the same time. After reading the course assignments and participating in discussions, I have already began to change how I teach. I no longer refer to my class as “guys” when I address them. I make a conscious effort to call on female students when engaging in a class discussion. I try to include the scientific discoveries of minorities, instead of addressing the same usual male, white scientists. Whenever I hear students say things like, “This is too hard” or “I’ll never understand this” I try to encourage them to change their language to reflect a growth mindset to “I can learn to do anything I want” and “failure is an opportunity to grow.”

Students should engage in multicultural learning and take action on diversity issues in their community.

Hayley Lovett


Diversity is an important aspect in the culture of the United States.  Throughout United States and history to the present, there have been issues regarding different ethnicities, races, languages, socioeconomic status, and exceptionalities.  Education plays a large role in bringing positive change in the form of social justice.

One of my biggest takeaways from this course is the responsibility every individual has on social justice.  As a member of society, I have a responsibility to recognize my position regarding privileges I possess. I also have a responsibility to actively listen and assist those who are less privileged than I am.  These are responsibilities that all members of society have, but some unique aspects are attached to those who hold certain positions. One of these positions that has been highlighted in the course is a role in the education system.  I am a full time teacher in a public school who interacts with over 100 middle schoolers every school day. I am a model to my students and I am responsible for providing lessons that will prepare students to be functioning members of society. This includes advising students about identity and diversity as well as applying justice and action to continue positive reform.

The examples of social justice in education that have been accomplished inspire me to bring the topics of identity, diversity, action, and justice into the classroom.  The education system ideally prepares generations to be valuable members of society so progression continues. I want to be a valuable part of that process.

I have enjoyed conversing with you all!

Hope Schaumburg

Final Reflection


At the forefront of diversity in the context of education is individuality. One of the biggest takeaways from this course for me was the concept of embracing diversity within education. Whether this is seen within a classroom or the entire school district, teachers can individually make strides to showcase the diversity among their students. This idea sounds like a simple concept that should be done in every classroom throughout the country. However, I have come to realize throughout this course and as a new teacher that this is simply not the case. Teachers and educators need to be mindful of this action in order for it to happen effectively. As a mathematics teacher, I always found that it would be difficult to incorporate diversity and social justice into my lessons. However, this course challenged me to think outside of the box. I have come to realize that with a little creativity it can definitely be done.

Another important takeaway from this course was the idea that teachers should not only act as models, but they should teach diversity and social justice as well. It is important for teachers to act as a role models for their students. However, it is also important that teachers take the time to discuss diversity and social justice. The four social justice standards that we discussed outline the four primary standards educators and students can follow to embrace diversity. Justice, identity, diversity, and action encompass these four social justice standards. In order to teach social justice within our schools, I personally believe that teachers should teach these four standards. They set the foundation for not only teachers, but students as well. At the end of the day it is our job as teachers to teach our students to be kind and respectful individuals to everyone around them.

Thank you for a great semester!

-Jessica Parker

#577 #FinalReflection

Social Justice Lesson Plan

By Jane Whelan

Social Justice Lesson Plan Template

Contextual information: Comparing people Respectfully.

Grade level: 1st Grade

Subject: ELA/ social Emotional

Lesson time length: 45 mins

Characteristics of the class: (multi-age or grade level, developmental level, etc.) Catholic School with one class per grade. Most families are well off financially.

Social Justice Standards (Teaching Tolerance): (Check all that apply)

Identity ___1. Students will develop positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society. ___2. Students will develop language and historical and cultural knowledge that affirm and accurately describe their membership in multiple identity groups. ___3. Students will recognize that people’s multiple identities interact and create unique and complex individuals. _x_4. Students will express pride, confidence and healthy self-esteem without denying the value and dignity of other people. ___5. Students will recognize traits of the dominant culture, their home culture and other cultures and understand how they negotiate their own identity in multiple spaces. Diversity x_6. Students will express comfort with people who are both similar to and different from them and engage respectfully with all people. x_7. Students will develop language and knowledge to accurately and respectfully describe how people (including themselves) are both similar to and different from each other and others in their identity groups. ___ 8. Students will respectfully express curiosity about the history and lived experiences of others and will exchange ideas and beliefs in an open-minded way. ___9. Students will respond to diversity by building empathy, respect, understanding and connection. ___10. Students will examine diversity in social, cultural, political and historical contexts rather than in ways that are superficial or oversimplified.
Justice _x_11. Students will recognize stereotypes and relate to people as individuals rather than representatives of groups. ___12. Students will recognize unfairness on the individual level (e.g., biased speech) and injustice at the institutional or systemic level (e.g., discrimination). ___13. Students will analyze the harmful impact of bias and injustice on the world, historically and today. ___14. Students will recognize that power and privilege influence relationships on interpersonal, intergroup and institutional levels and consider how they have been affected by those dynamics. ___15. Students will identify figures, groups, events and a variety of strategies and philosophies relevant to the history of social justice around the world.   Action ___16. Students will express empathy when people are excluded or mistreated because of their identities and concern when they themselves experience bias. ___17. Students will recognize their own responsibility to stand up to exclusion, prejudice and injustice. ___18. Students will speak up with courage and respect when they or someone else has been hurt or wronged by bias. ___19. Students will make principled decisions about when and how to take a stand against bias and injustice in their everyday lives and will do so despite negative peer or group pressure. ___20. Students will plan and carry out collective action against bias and injustice in the world and will evaluate what strategies are most effective.
x Empowered learner- Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.   Computational thinker-  Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.
  Digital citizen-  Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. x Creative communicator-  Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
  Knowledge constructor- Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.     Global collaborator- Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.
  Innovative designer- Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.    

 ISTE Standards for Students (click all that apply)

Purpose/Rationale: To teach the students how to be comfortable with people who are different or similar to them and develop language for appropriately comparing people.

Materials and Technology Tools: pencils, paper, smartboard, Same Difference Children’s book video by Calida Rawles, SMARTboard notebook.

Objectives: Students will be able to be comfortable with people who are different from them.

Students will be able to describe their differences and similarities from people respectfully.

Students will realize that our differences and similarities make us special.

Instructional Procedures: (please remember to integrate technology tools)

Introductory Activity: Show the class two eggs one brown one white. Have the children guess what the insides will be like. Crack the two eggs and show it to the class that while the eggs looked didn’t the same on the outside on the inside they are very similar and are both eggs. The same goes for humans, we may look different or act different, but on the inside we are all humans with feelings.Show the video for Same Difference by Calida Rawles a story about two friends that do many things the same and start to realize they have differences with how they look and how they overcome that. Pausing at certain points to discuss the video. After the video as a class make a Venn diagram about the two characters and how they are alike and how they are different. Using respectful terms and having conversations about how everyone is alike and different. Whether it is about looks, or personalities, or likes. Being different doesn’t make us bad or better than one another, it makes us unique.

Developing Activity: Group students into twos using a group generator. Give each group a Venn diagram and have the groups discuss how they are the different and how they are the same using the respectful terms discussed in the beginning of the lesson. Each group needs to come up with at least 3 similarities and 3 differences that they have. The groups will be given 20 mins to do this.

Concluding Activity: When the VennDiagrams are finished, they children may draw a self-portrait to go with the Venn Diagram. The groups will present their Venn diagrams to the class and discuss what the found. Each group must hand in their Venn Diagram for review.


Venn Diagram will be reviewed by the teacher, looking for respectful language and at least three differences and similarities.

Feedback from peers:

Overall I got a positive response for this lesson. They really enjoyed my opening activity with the eggs. It’s a great way to show children that even though we are different we have a lot of similarities. If I was going to change anything I may have the students complete the venn diagram online.


Address the following:

  1. What did you do to insure that you had met your objectives in this lesson?

I tried to insure that the students knew that while we are all human we can have differences and similarities. I made sure the activities that were being done allowed the students to meet the objectives in the lesson.

Made sure to show how to compare people using respectful and being curious about other people.

  • What were some of the strengths in the lesson? Teaching about diversity in a positive manner that allows students to be curious without being rude.
  • What are some things that could be improved in this lesson?

I think the ending needs work, but I couldn’t think of a stronger conclusion.

Social Justice Lesson Plan Rubric

  Ineffective Developing Effective
Contextual information Included minimal of no contextual information for the lesson Included most of the required contextual information for the lesson Included all the required contextual information for the lesson
Standards Lesson had minimal or no alignment to the Social Justice Standards Lesson had evidence of alignment to the Social Justice Standards Lesson was well-aligned with the Social Justice Standards
Instructional strategies Instructional strategies had minimal alignment with the objectives of this lesson. Used no technology Instructional strategies were mostly aligned with the objectives of the lesson. Used some technology Instructional strategies were well- aligned with the objectives of the lesson. Made good use of technology
Assessments The assessments had minimal alignment to the objectives of the lesson The assessments were mostly aligned with the objectives of the lesson The assessments were well-aligned with the objectives of the lesson
Reflection The reflection minimally addressed the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson The reflection mostly addressed the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson The reflection richly addressed the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson