EDUC 577 Final Reflection

My biggest takeaway from this course about diversity in education that I did not realize prior to the course is that although some topics can be awkward and hard to discuss it is important to not just ignore them. I really took to heart the idea of the microaggressions and other social justice issues that may be happening within a classroom that a teacher needs to be aware of. There are small things that get said or small actions that happen that may not seem like a big deal but to the person it is happening against it is a really big deal.

I also found that it is important to educate students who may be in the majority even if there is not a lot of local diversity. These students who are involved in many social activities with other people and schools as well as who participate in social media need to understand that their actions have consequences and even if they are not around a diverse population they should be aware of the things they say and how to be good global citizens.

It is important to include technology when teaching students how to navigate in their educational world. They will need to learn how to appropriately use technology through working on projects, posting online and researching/looking things up. They should be aware when their actions are not right and they should be aware when others’ actions are not right.  This will make students more aware of their actions and the actions of those around them. They will become advocates for themselves and others and be aware of social justice in this world.

Social Justice Lesson Plan (sorry apparently I didn’t post it with the tags)

Social Justice Lesson Plan

Contextual information: A picture is worth 1000 words.

Grade level: 8th

Subject: English or Social Studies

Lesson time length: 80 mins

Characteristics of the class: (multi-age or grade level, developmental level, etc.)

20 students

3 ELL

7 IEP/504

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

Identity

_X_1. Students will develop positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society.

_X__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.

___4. Students will express pride, confidence and healthy self-esteem without denying the value and dignity of other people.

_X__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.

_X__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.

_X__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.

_X__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

_X__16. Students will express empathy when people are excluded or mistreated because of their identities and concern when they themselves experience bias.

_X__17. Students will recognize their own responsibility to stand up to exclusion, prejudice and injustice.

_X__18. Students will speak up with courage and respect when they or someone else has been hurt or wronged by bias.

_X__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.

_X__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.

 

X 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.
X 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: Everyday life is filled with photos. From the news, to school textbooks, to social media we are always getting our fill of photos. Historically, there are photos that have gone down in history and have a whole story behind them. There are moments that get captured that can be hard to look at. There is hate and bias from classrooms to grocery stores.

The important thing for students is to look at a situation, try to empathize and understand the emotions of the photo, and decide other ways the situation could have been handled.

 

Materials and Technology Tools:

Worksheet, iPads, (costumes) if they want. Printer

 

Objectives:

Students will be able to analyze a photo for the emotions that are going on.

Students will be able to understand the history behind a photo and the time period to which it takes place.

Students will be able to create a new situation in order to replace the original.

 

Instructional Procedures: (please remember to integrate technology tools)

Introductory Activity: (20 mins)- We will begin by discussing emotions. Students will look through different emojis and try to guess what the emotion is. Then we will switch to photos and try to guess what the emotions are. The students will then work in a small group. One student will try to portray an emotion. Their group mates will try to guess what the emotion is and they will take turns.

Explain to students that emotions can be easy or hard to read based on body language. It is important for social situations to read an emotion and react/act accordingly. Explain the directions to the students:

They will work in a group of 4 students. They will analyze a photograph from history. They need to fill in the worksheet which asks them to try to explain the situation, explain the emotions of the people in the photo, and try to decipher what time period it is from.

Second, they need to discuss how they would change the situation. Empathize with the people in the photo and discuss how they could make it a positive experience.

Lastly, they will use their iPads to recreate the photo using their new situation. They will share the old and new photos with the class and explain.

Developing Activity: (40 mins)- We will go over an example of what their project should look like and how to go about it.

EXAMPLE:

The students will discuss the emotion of this photo and how it could have been changed based on changing the behavior of the people in the photo.

The students will then break into their groups (premade) and be given their photo. They should then start their discussion. The students need to make sure they fill out their worksheet. I will have a timer on the board so they know how much time they have to have their final photo. Students will have access to clothing/ accessories they can use for their photos if they would like. They need to print out their photos when they are done.

 

Concluding Activity: (20 mins)- Students will come up one group at a time and explain and show their two photos.

 

Assessments:

The students will get a grade based on their worksheet and their photo. This will be a group grade.

 

 

Feedback from peers:

My peers stated that I should add in more detailed directions so that anyone could teach this lesson. I tried to add in as much as I could in order to allow the lesson to be taught by someone other than myself. Another feedback stated to include the characteristics of the class which I lacked the first time around. Also trying to find not only historical photos but photos of something local that may relate to them in order to draw them in and gain personalization in the projects.

 

Reflection:

Address the following:

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

I reviewed the students’ photos and worksheets as well as gave them a grade for their work within their group. I monitored their group work by walking around and asking prompting questions in order to get the students to really think about the situation they are looking at.

 

  1. What were some of the strengths in the lesson?

The strengths of the lesson were truly in the communication aspect and in understanding empathy. The students needed to get their point across and collaborate with each other about a situation that may be uncomfortable. It lets them brainstorm about their own situations and how to handle them.

 

  1. What are some things that could be improved in this lesson?

I wish I would have found more recent photos. Most of the photos were from history and the students didn’t relate as well and I wish I would have found ones that reflected more of their current social lifestyles.

EDUC 577 Final Reflection

I used to think of diversity in a very narrow myopic context as simply applying to race/ethnicity. This course has opened my eyes to just how far-reaching the word diversity can be and that it impacts all facets of life and how we as individuals identify ourselves.

The biggest takeaway from this course, for me, was really learning about and focusing on inherent biases in curriculum formation and student assessments. I always knew in the back of my mind that a grade’s curriculum had to have some bias because of who develops it but never gave it much thought: it was more out of sight out of mind. As classrooms across the country, including mine, become more diverse it is very important to be aware of how a student’s identity, upbringing and possibly even language barrier can impact his/her learning experience. Formulating lessons that students can better relate to and actively engage with other students creates a better learning environment. Additionally, the course gave me a better appreciation for how federal, state and local governments really do impact schools, teachers and students. Whether it be about levels of funding, curriculum or policies concerning school voucher programs, elections of politicians at all levels really impact education.

I particularly liked the assignment that utilized the cartoon generator. That is technology I definitely intend to utilize in my classroom as I think it is an excellent way to express thoughts and allows the students to have fun with each other either through reading the comic strips out loud to the class or by working as a team to develop a cartoon.

Overall, this course gave me a better awareness and appreciation for the privileges I have had in my life (growing up a middle-class white female) and how there are many others who did not share in this privilege. In fact, many experienced just the opposite in the form of inherent bias in school curriculum or, even worse, overt discrimination. It is my duty as a teacher to be mindful of this and how it informs how I teach and interact with my students. I am thankful for the perspectives this course offered and the awareness it raised in me.

Corey Battersby

Reflection

            I found this course to be very insightful and useful as an educator. There is no way to avoid the diversity of our students. In each classroom we go in to, there will be a wide variety of cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, ability levels, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and values and beliefs. Students need to be able to not only learn in a diverse environment, but learn that diversity is what makes each of them unique.

            I feel as though that as an educator it falls on me to ensure that each of my students is recognized as an individual that has his or her own social justice. I have to also acknowledge that there are various privileges that I have that many of my students do not.

            There were several aspects that I feel as though I will hold onto and continue to work on throughout my career. One of the biggest take away from this course would be including the Social Justice Standards in my teachings. Before this course I had no idea that Social Justice Standards even existed. Teaching younger students, I feel as though it is crucial to implement these into my lessons as much as possible.

            As Johnson (2018) states, “As long as we participate in social systems, we do not get to choose whether to be involved in the consequences that result. We are involved because we are here. As such, we can only choose how to be involved, whether to simply be part of the problem or to also be part of the solution. That is where our power lies, and our responsibility” (p.75). I could not agree with this statement more!

            The first step in becoming part of the solution is first being able to recognize that privilege and oppression are a real thing for our students. Furthermore, its not just being aware of the issue, but also acting on it daily in our classroom.

            Being an educator, I feel as though there are many things we can do to become part of the solution. For myself specifically, I feel as though it is crucial to be able to actively listen to my students. And as Johnson (2018) points out, not just listen to listen, but listen to do something. I also feel as though it is imperative that I just become more aware of the issues of privilege in general. I really liked when Johnson (2018) states, “dare to make people feel uncomfortable, beginning with yourself” (p.123).

Reference:

Johnson, A. (2018). Privilege, Power, and Difference. (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Reflection

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

Reflection

My biggest take away from this course occurred during the first few weeks of the semester around personal experiences. The Johnson text, Privilege, Power and Difference forced me to think in a way about myself and my teaching I have not previously done. It opened up my eyes to a completely different point of view which allowed me to consider other positions besides that of a white, middle-class female. Hearing others’ experiences in the class, also got me reflecting more on my life and how fortunate I am.  They often shared things that made me think differently about past experiences. These discussions have allowed me to embrace diversity and meet the needs of students.

The photo essay we had to complete also allowed me to see my district in a different light. Learning about policy and social justice standards this semester allowed me to see that my district is not strong in this area. After speaking with my curriculum director, I know this will be an area of focus for the upcoming school year. My participation in the class will allow me to bring more to the discussion moving forward on how we can be a more culturally responsive district and address these standards. 

Teaching elementary school, I know the importance of starting these conversations around differences, stereotypes, and culture at a young age.  I will continue to develop a culture that is respectful and open to discussions in my classroom so we can meet the needs of all students.

I appreciate all the hard work of everyone in the class and their ability to be open and forthcoming about diversity.  Thank you to all for a great semester. 

Erin