cynthiaschultz1

LER 2 - Education & Social Justice

by cynthiaschultz1

Creative Commons Monday November 2, 2015

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Filed in Educational

How do you as an educator and/or citizen view the role of the education system?

In text books and readings, education has and still seems to be focused on preparing students to be active members of society.

A curriculum tells us the knowledge and skills students should have and we teach this to our students. The knowledge that is valued often comes tells of the dominant ideologies held by those in power.

Educators are being given technology in order to help prepare students in understanding digital and information literacies, and to teach valuable skills required for so many of today's jobs. (Also referenced by Dr. Westheimer).

I want to go outside!

Standardized testing is changing education, where teachers often teach to the test, and focus on math and literacy, taking away from other valuable subjects. (Also referenced by Dr. Westheimer).

Can we draw and sing now?

It is hard to see education in other lights, especially since these ideas are so dominant in our school systems today.

What!? Really!?

However with all of that being said, I do believe that the purpose of education entails other ideas and notions.

No way!

What then do you envision as education and the education system, and what do you want to work towards?

Well, let's refer back to some ideas frommy Introduction Blog Post / Post #1 as well as thoughts from ED 808 lecturers.

I think about education through a social justice lens - teaching students about a variety of issues, thinking about others, doing good at home and in the world, and to empower students to begin to take action to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

This is not to say that the subjects are not important, but there is authentic context and purposes for learning that education should consider and include.

Students become global citizens when they are able to think about the world and helping others, as well as recognizing that while they may be students here in Saskatchewan, but that they are part of the world, and have the potential to make a difference for all.

Dr. Westheimer shared with us many ideas.

"Standards hold us accountable, but the problem is with standardization - everything being the same. A push for teaching and learning to look the same - that it doesn't matter which teacher in the room, because the teacher can be interchangable, because of a standardized curriculum."

"Schools are places that are designed specifically to teach an exact set of skills, and exact set of information to a group of kids. Learning the same thing at the same time."

You remember the teachers who brought in broader knowledge and ideas that were different, not "my grade 3 teacher [who] taught everything as every other grade 3 teacher." The things that can't be standardized are great and more meaningful.

These ideas are very much a reality in schools today. There is more to testing.

I believe that educators can no longer sit passively and go along with the school system believes and tells them to do.

Unfortunately, testing still must happen. But educators have the choice and chance about the ideas and issues they talk about, while still developing the skills standardized tests measure and value.

I know that personally, I belive in working from a critical perspective, in order to challenge the practices currently accepted.

It's time to begin teaching about social justice issues and topics, to create discomfort, but to help children really learn about the world and society around them.

In order to provide authentic learning experiences..

For us to question and challenge knowledge and ideas

To learn about the communitiy..

To learn outside of the classroom..

To be in the community...

21st century schooling - "Technology and being ready for the information economy." "We all cary devices in our pockets ... that we can find out anything we need to know." An information overload.

We need to teach "how to sift through information... to tell what's good... to tell what's bad..." - "analytical or critical thinking, shouldn't be reduced to facts and information."

Student's life experiences and knowledge should be a part of lessons - I am not the "expert" as we can all learn from each other.

I believe that all students, regardless of class or ability (for ex.) should learn about social justice issues. These topics and issues have a place to be taught in the classroom.

It is my job to help students become good citizens, to take place in all three levels of citizenship - to teach more than just "character education" in order to think critically about "why issues are happening."

"The purpose of education is to comfort the troubled and trouble the comforted - Maxine Greene"

"Schools should be safe spaces... but we should question assumptions we come in with... to look critically at society to make changes."

So is it easier for schools with diverse groups of students to carry out social justice citizenship?

"The political ideology of the certian school system and the community support makes it easier."

I believe it is important for all students and schools to move towards social justice citizenship, to move towards critical thinking, regardless of the students' socio-economic stauts.

I also think that it first starts with a commitment from the teacher - if they believe in this educational stance, they will begin work towards it with their students.

*Of course it is easier to take up this work if the school and community support you.

What about thoughts from Dr. Ayers?

Yes, I really like his notion of "curriculum of asking questions", as well as seeing "every human being of incalcutable value."

A "curriculum of asking questions" - it's important to ask questions of the world, to understand agency interrogate how things can become something else.

I believe it's important for teachers to have high expectations for their students, to see them as capable learners, and to believe that they can do great things.

"Social justice in education in a democracy is part of the definition, not something added on."

"Social justice is dynamic, it's in motion, it's never finished, but it's basically different people in different situations, using different strategies trying to create the conditions for more access, more equity and fairness in soceity - the work of democaracy."

"The work is never done, it's never finished. You learn from your students and communities and you allow yourself to be astonished at the infinite beauty and the injustices and unfairness, and then you act, and then rethink and start back at the beginning."

"Teaching is a hopeful profession.. We actually think that we can make a difference.. We do make a revolution everyday, kid by kid by kid."

Teaching about and for social justice begins with me and my committment. Activism begins with me. I can pass these beliefs and ideas onto my students.

Given the right tools and education, students can go on to make real change, to challenge inequalities and work to make a difference.

By making personal changes in one's pedagogy and how the curriculum is taught, social justice can be extended to all students.

Once you start talking about issues and taking action, once you see injustice, you can no longer over look it - I believe you work to do better and try to make a difference even though it takes time.

So do ideas from Drs. Westheimer & Ayers, those from your first post, and what you've said here connect?

Yes, I think so. If you look back at what I had originally written, my ideas here are integrated with the new perspectives we have been presented with in the lectures.

I also belive that my initial position and ideas have been expanded and that they have begun to develop and change.

My views and concern regarding LGBTQI topics being included and talked about by teachers is an area I would like to educate students in, as well as in other social justice areas of concern,

I belive that a critical approach to curriculum and education, incorporating culturally responsive pedagogies and the students' and community knowledge a practice I want to continue to adopt and practice.

The presenters have confirmed that there is more to education than testing and measuring students.

They have also made it clear that if I believe that social justice is a part of the curriculum which is for all students, then I should go for it and teach it.

How do you as an educator and/or citizen view the role of the education system? In text books and readings, education has and still seems to be focused on preparing students to be active members of society. A curriculum tells us the knowledge and skills students should have and we teach this to our students. The knowledge that is valued often comes tells of the dominant ideologies held by those in power. Educators are being given technology in order to help prepare students in understanding digital and information literacies, and to teach valuable skills required for so many of today's jobs. (Also referenced by Dr. Westheimer). I want to go outside! | Standardized testing is changing education, where teachers often teach to the test, and focus on math and literacy, taking away from other valuable subjects.  (Also referenced by Dr. Westheimer). | Can we draw and sing now? It is hard to see education in other lights, especially since these ideas are so dominant in our school systems today. What!? Really!? | However with all of that being said, I do believe that the purpose of education entails other ideas and notions. | No way! What then do you envision as education and the education system, and what do you want to work towards? Well, let's refer back to some ideas frommy Introduction Blog Post / Post #1 as well as thoughts from ED 808 lecturers. I think about education through a social justice lens - teaching students about a variety of issues, thinking about others, doing good at home and in the world, and to empower students to begin to take action to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. This is not to say that the subjects are not important, but there is authentic context and purposes for learning that education should consider and include. Students become global citizens when they are able to think about the world and helping others, as well as recognizing that while they may be students here in Saskatchewan, but that they are part of the world, and have the potential to make a difference for all. Dr. Westheimer shared with us many ideas. "Standards hold us accountable, but the problem is with standardization - everything being the same. A push for teaching and learning to look the same -  that it doesn't matter which teacher in the room, because the teacher can be interchangable, because of a standardized curriculum." "Schools are places that are designed specifically to teach an exact set of skills, and exact set of information to a group of kids. Learning the same thing at the same time." You remember the teachers who brought in broader knowledge and ideas that were different, not "my grade 3 teacher [who] taught everything as every other grade 3 teacher." The things that can't be standardized are great and more meaningful. These ideas are very much a reality in schools today. There is more to testing. I believe that educators can no longer sit passively and go along with the school system believes and tells them to do. Unfortunately, testing still must happen. But educators have the choice and chance about the ideas and issues they talk about, while still developing the skills standardized tests measure and value. I know that personally, I belive in working from a critical perspective, in order to challenge the practices currently accepted. It's time to begin teaching about social justice issues and topics, to create discomfort, but to help children really learn about the world and society around them. In order to provide authentic learning experiences.. | For us to question and challenge knowledge and ideas To learn about the communitiy.. | To learn outside of the classroom.. | To be in the community... 21st century schooling - "Technology and being ready for the information economy." "We all cary devices in our pockets ... that we can find out anything we need to know." An information overload. We need to teach "how to sift through information... to tell what's good... to tell what's bad..." - "analytical or critical thinking, shouldn't be reduced to facts and information." Student's life experiences and knowledge should be a part of lessons - I am not the "expert" as we can all learn from each other. I believe that all students, regardless of class or ability (for ex.) should learn about social justice issues. These topics and issues have a place to be taught in the classroom. It is my job to help students become good citizens, to take place in all three levels of citizenship - to teach more than just  "character education" in order to think critically about "why issues are happening." "The purpose of education is to comfort the troubled and trouble the comforted - Maxine Greene" "Schools should be safe spaces... but we should question assumptions we come in with... to look critically at society to make changes." So is it easier for schools with diverse groups of students to carry out social justice citizenship? | "The political ideology of the certian school system and the community support makes it easier." I believe it is important for all students and schools to move towards social justice citizenship, to move towards critical thinking, regardless of the students' socio-economic stauts. I also think that it first starts with a commitment from the teacher - if they believe in this educational stance, they will begin work towards it with their students. | *Of course it is easier to take up this work if the school and community support you. What about thoughts from Dr. Ayers? Yes, I really like his notion of "curriculum of asking questions", as well as seeing "every human being of incalcutable value." A "curriculum of asking questions" - it's important to ask questions of the world, to understand agency interrogate how things can become something else. I believe it's important for teachers to have high expectations for their students, to see them as capable learners, and to believe that they can do great things. "Social justice in education in a democracy is part of the definition, not something added on." "Social justice is dynamic, it's in motion, it's never finished, but it's basically different people in different situations, using different strategies trying to create the conditions for more access, more equity and fairness in soceity - the work of democaracy." "The work is never done, it's never finished. You learn from your students and communities and you allow yourself to be astonished at the infinite beauty and the injustices and unfairness, and then you act, and then rethink and start back at the beginning." "Teaching is a hopeful profession.. We actually think that we can make a difference.. We do make a revolution everyday, kid by kid by kid." Teaching about and for social justice begins with me and my committment. Activism begins with me. I can pass these beliefs and ideas onto my students. Given the right tools and education, students can go on to make real change, to challenge inequalities and work to make a difference. By making personal changes in one's pedagogy and how the curriculum is taught, social justice can be extended to all students. Once you start talking about issues and taking action, once you see injustice, you can no longer over look it - I believe you work to do better and try to make a difference even though it takes time. So do ideas from Drs. Westheimer & Ayers, those from your first post, and what you've said here connect? Yes, I think so. If you look back at what I had originally written, my ideas here are integrated with the new perspectives we have been presented with in the lectures. I also belive that my initial position and ideas have been expanded and that they have begun to develop and change. My views and concern regarding LGBTQI topics being included and talked about by teachers is an area I would like to educate students in, as well as in other social justice areas of concern, I belive that a critical approach to curriculum and education, incorporating culturally responsive pedagogies and the students' and community knowledge a practice I want to continue to adopt and practice. The presenters have confirmed that there is more to education than testing and measuring students. They have also made it clear that if I believe that social justice is a part of the curriculum which is for all students, then I should go for it and teach it.

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cynthiaschultz1

cynthiaschultz1

I'm from Canada.
Joined February 6, 2012
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