After reading about the Isla Vista killings, it got me thinking about my role as a teacher and what we can do to combat injustice and inequality within the schools, communities and even classrooms that we occupy. The role of a teacher is complex and multi-layered but we must ensure that teachers have the ability and curriculum to have serious discussions with students about the issues they will/have/are facing in their worlds.
Social Justice Education is not only learning about specific topics, but it is a framework for interacting with students, establishing classroom culture, and inviting students to become active participants in their worlds to make it a better place.
If we don’t engage students in this type of learning, and only prepare them for the labour market, then we are failing to engage them with the task of making the world a more just and equitable place.
In short, social justice education matters because….
- It challenges and seeks to end dominant narratives/actions of patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny in and out of the classroom.
It seeks to understand social and economic systems that create poverty and suffering for millions.
It challenges students to understand their privilege and encourages them to become allies of those seeking justice.
It seeks to deconstruct racism not just as an individual act but as an institutionalized mechanism of oppression.
It actively fights against homophobia and advocates for the rights of LGBTQ people.
It teaches students to learn and understand the “hard and difficult” issues of our society and that they cannot be ignored if we want to make progress.
It demands that we advocate for the rights of those with disabilities to ensure they can benefit from all society has to offer.
It challenges students roles as oppressor/oppressed and actively encourages them to self-reflect on their actions as citizens.
It demands that we investigate colonialism and challenges us to decolonize for a more just world.
It is essential if we want to end the misery of oppression in all of it’s forms throughout our classrooms, schools, communities and the larger world.
Too often, as parents and teachers, we offer simple solutions to complex issues so we don’t have to have these hard conversations with our youth. This is unacceptable if our goal is to create a safe, just, and equitable world for all people. It’s time we prepare ourselves, and the teaching profession, to take up the task of social justice education.
Connect With SWHELPER
Good Mental Health Equals a Happy Marriage
Happily married couples enjoy better mental health status, according to researchers. They fall sick less often, have fewer instances of...
The Woman Beside Me – Living in the Era of Trump
At the gym, MSNBC plays on my treadmill monitor. Coverage of the shootings in El Paso and Dayton have been...
The History of Stereotyping Homelessness in Australia
The history of homelessness in Australia stems back to our nation’s colonization by our British counterparts which moved Indigenous Australians...
Examining White Privilege: What’s the Fear?
Dickinson student Leda Fisher asks the question “Should White Boys Still be Allowed to Talk?” in her opinion piece in...
News2 months ago
Discussing White Supremacy: Having Difficult Conversations Are Required and Not Optional
Elder Care2 months ago
How New Tech Can Support Caregivers as They Support Seniors
News2 months ago
Social Work and the Reproductive Justice Framework
Justice2 months ago
UB Social Work Researchers Part of a Team Addressing Gun Violence