Social Justice Education
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Junior World-Changers Kit

Junior World-Changers Kit | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it

The Junior World-Changers Kit is a fun and practical resource for teachers to introduce younger students to social justice issues and activism. Such a great resource!! So many lesson plans on this site!

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This pin links to a website that provides information about the “Junior World-Changers Kit.” The kit allows teachers to introduce younger students to social justice issues and activism. It provides hands-on activities that help students understand the “daily reality for many of their peers around the world, while providing them with a positive outlet to turn their raw emotional reactions into constructive action.” The lessons and activities in the kit “lay out a path that students can take throughout their lives, for whichever issue or issues they become passionate about and for whichever skills they need to achieve their goals.” The kit includes a full set of foundation lesson plans in three parts. The first part is to educate by introducing the students to the seven countries where the Free The Children foundation is at work, and it dives into the four social justice issues of education, health care, poverty, and clean water and sanitation. The second part is to empower by focusing on skills of citizenship, communication, and team building, and by helping the students to develop the skills and confidence needed to be active global citizens. The third part is to engage by encouraging the students to actively engage with the issues they learned about through the other parts of the kit by allowing the students to learn how to plan their actions and execute their actions to become a “Junior World-Changer.”

         Providing hands-on activities for young children to engage all while learning and discussing difficult topics is a great way to go about teaching social justice issues. Getting the children involved allows the children to feel more connected and to better understand the hardships and difficulties at hand that pertain to social justice issues. It empowers them to know how to make a change and take action for social justice. If I ever own this kit for myself I would like to see how effective it is for young children. 

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Teaching ideas

Teaching ideas | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it
Rethinking Multicultural Education moves beyond a simplistic focus on heroes and holidays to demonstrate a powerful vision of anti-racist, social justice education.
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Rethinking Multicultural Education: Teaching for Racial and Cultural Justice is book of a collection of Rethinking Schools articles that deal with race and culture. The book focuses on social justice and multicultural education on a school level and how to go about change systematically in a school to provide for better multicultural education. It moves beyond the simplistic, traditional method of focusing on heroes and holidays to demonstrate a powerful vision of anti-racist, social justice education. It goes about multicultural education in a practical, relevant way by choosing articles that discuss the struggles and successes of teachers and students in bilingual and multicultural education, the power and potential of language use, strategies to confront racial issues in the classroom, and ways to include critical literacy practices in the curriculum. As one individual who reviewed this book on the website for this book states, “this important book redefines the meaning of multicultural education… it will provide you with a broader, more inclusive perspective that can lead to meaningful professional conversations about social justice and systematic change in our schools. This book provides resources for teachers and promotes multicultural awareness.

            Although I have not read this book, after reading the summary and the reviews I think it would be beneficial for me to read this book. When the summary mentions that this book goes beyond the simplistic focus on heroes and holidays to demonstrate a powerful vision, this intrigued me. I find it extremely important to branch out from just teaching about the heroes and the holidays that have come about overtime, because children need to also here more realistic experiences that they can relate to. When you only teach children about the impactful historical figures to look up to and to compare themselves to, they will feel like that is whom they have to live up to and that is not realistic or reassuring for these children. It is important for them to learn about these people, but they also need to learn about instances in which they can relate to the individual and they could see themselves doing the same things they did to make a difference. Children need to be encouraged and empowered through multicultural education, not to feel inferior and like they have no chance of living up to the standards that are being presented to them in a classroom setting. I would be interested in looking into this book to see in what ways they go about multicultural education in their more forward thinking way. 

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History - Americas

History - Americas | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it
Is Everyone Really Equal? An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education (Multicultural Education) by Ozlem Sensoy. $28.07. Publisher: Teachers College Press (November 1, 2011).
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Multicultural education and Social Justice - YouTube

A look at multicultural education and social justice Karen, Yeaseul, Georgia, and Steve
Camille Cocca's insight:

The video starts by providing a James Banks quote to explain what the focus of multicultural education is: “To provide future teachers and in-service teachers with the knowledge, insight, and understanding needed to work effectively with both male and female students, with exceptional students, and with student from various social classes and religious, ethnic, and cultural groups.” Then the video continues by listing three things that multicultural education is: an idea or concept, an educational reform movement, and a process. The video provides another James Banks quote about education, “An education that is narrowly defined as academic achievement and teasing will not prepare students to become effective citizens who are committed to social justice… We should educate students to be reflective, moral, caring, and active citizens in a troubled world.” Another quote discusses the fact that the purpose of multicultural education is to create social justice and equity in schools leading to social justice and equity in society. Once it spreads throughout society, then the purpose of multicultural education has been fully achieved. One importance of multicultural education that the video points out is the destruction of this idea of “otherness” in that all other cultures are different and less important than out own. Students need to learn understand, acknowledge, and appreciate all other cultures and not view them as inferior to their own.

            The video then discusses the media versus the school in terms of importance on children’s lives and from which they learn more from. Schools are in constant battle with information the media is giving to children. The video looks into how the media portrays world cultures, such as the Disney movie Aladdin. One line to the opening song, “Arabian Nights” of Aladdin is “Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place where the caravan camels roam. Where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense. It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.” The music itself being played for this song is also not an accurate representation of music in Arabian culture.

            When the first quote was shown in the video, at first I agreed with the quote. Once I reread the quote, I realized I did not completely agree with the wording of the quote. Now that I have more knowledge about gender and gender identification, I find myself getting slightly offended when we are still splitting people into just male and female categories. Granted, I am sure this quote is an older quote, so if this quote were to be rewritten maybe that part of the quote would be changed to fit the gender more appropriately. Gender identification is even a social justice issue, so the gender portion of this quote should actually be included at the end, listed with the “various social classes and religious, ethnic, and cultural groups.” Gender, as shown through the scoops on my gender scoop it, is various, not binary. Other than that quote, I found this video to be insightful and informational. It made me think about what is going on right now to see change in education, specifically multicultural and social justice education. Also, I agreed with the section of the video that stated the purpose of multicultural education is fully achieved once the creation of social justice and equity is spread from the schools to society. The purpose of multicultural and social justice education is not just to affect students in schools, but also to make a change in society and the world. It starts in the schools and must expand to the world. This connects with the idea I have mentioned earlier as to how powerful education is, when done appropriately, authentically, and effectively. 

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Multiculturalism and Social Justice in American Public Education

Multiculturalism and 'Social Justice' in American Public Education -- March 2009 Education Reporter
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Using Their Words

Using Their Words | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it
Camille Cocca's insight:

“Using Their Words” is a website that revolves around social justice education and how teachers can go about teaching social justice in their classroom. The home page of the website discusses the objective of the site, which is to help teachers in the process of teaching social justice issues in their classroom, but do not know how to go about the task. It discusses the fact that new teachers are inspired by social justice and multicultural theory now being presented in teacher education programs, but they need to see examples of it in action. They point out that although some people believe that younger students are not capable of discussing touchy or controversial topics, the site is there to provide the counter to this argument through examples of teachers and students engaging in social action on difficult topics. It is a space that provides teachers the ability to see social justice projects in actions so that they can feel confident incorporating social justice into their own lessons. The units discussed throughout the website were created and implemented by elementary school teachers and student teachers, focus on social justice issues, help students ask difficult questions about the world, designed to engage children in social action to change conditions in the world, and have been successfully integrated with standards and mandated curricular programs.  One page includes the “6 Elements of Social Justice Education” as discussed in a previous scoop. The other pages include: Classroom Projects, Children’s Literature, Practice What You Teach, and Videos.

            One specific example mentioned under the Classroom Project page detailed one teacher’s social action project dedicated to her autistic students. The topics of the project were bullying, personal empowerment, and differentiating/identifying good and bad choices. The social justice skills the students used were peer education and identifying choices. She used critical literacy to help her students with autism identify the actions of what a bully does. After they identified the bad choices bullies make, they created a list of alternative choices the bully could have made instead that would be seen as good choices. Bullying is a difficult topic to discuss with children, and allowing them to explore multiple perspectives and try to understand the bully from his side is a good way to go about such a touchy topic. It allows the students to better understand bullying and how to handle future situations as the bullied or as the bully.

            This website, like the National Council of Teachers of English position statement, is very beneficial for teachers and provide activities and assignments to help them in starting to teach social justice issues. Social justice issues are important and complex topics to be discussed in a classroom, which can sometimes be intimidating for a teacher to go about for the first time and in an effective, appropriate manner. Websites such as this one help to deconstruct this large task at hand and makes it easier to attack by providing examples and proofs of success. It is comforting, reassuring, and empowering. It will lead to more and more teachers joining the force in teaching social justice issues. I am excited to see what the future of education holds in terms of this movement for social justice and multicultural education. 

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Vision

Vision | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it
Teachers 4 Social Justice believes in evolving a society based on equity and love, where each person has access to resources regardless of race, gender, ability, age, socio-economic status, sexual ...
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6 Elements of Social Justice Ed.

6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it
Camille Cocca's insight:

“6 Elements of Social Justice Ed.” is a blog that revolves around the concept of social justice education. The page I have scooped defines the six elements of social justice curriculum and offers an annotated list of children’s literature that pre-service teacher candidates read, reviewed, and provided insights into how they can be used in a K-5 setting. The six elements are: self-love and knowledge, respect for others, exploring issues of social justice, social movements and social change, raising awareness, and taking social action. The first element is defined as “teachers providing opportunities for students to learn about who they are and where they come from. A sense of dignity in their culture, heritage, ethnicity/race, religion, skin tone, gender, etc. is cultivated in the classroom. Students learn about different aspects of their identity and history associated with it. Negative stereotypes about students’ identities are deconstructed”. After the definitions of the elements are discussed, the blog provides a list of children’s books with a summary, lesson plan, which element the book goes along with, and a follow-up activity for each book. There is one book listed for each element, so six books in total.

            The sixth book is Social Justice: How You Can Make a Difference by Lynn Bogen Sanders and it goes along with element six (taking social action). The book discusses steps in which one can take before actually taking action. The five chapters within the book are: Free to Make a Difference, Getting Started, Learn All About It, Planning, and Taking Action. The book gives advice and ideas as how to further your knowledge of your cause. The book even includes brief stories of kids who have taken action for their cause to make a difference. The activity mentioned to go along with this book included have students in groups come up with a cause they believe would be worth taking action for, follow the steps given in the book by researching their cause, making a plan to take action, and then taking action.

            The information offered on this blog was very insightful and empowering. When we were taught about social justice issues and the teaching of such issues through literature, I started to worry about how I could really go about this concept in my own future classroom. Throughout the class, I became more comfortable with this idea and was given opportunities to search for high quality literature myself that can be used to teach social justice issues in the classroom. The idea of teaching them how to take their own action to make a difference for social justice is what worried me the most and seemed to far fetched. When I am given specific examples as to how I can go about teaching my students to take action, I feel better about incorporating it in future lesson plans. This blog showed me that it is important to teach social justice issues and that it is possible to do so. In this way, the blog reminded me of the National Council of Teachers of English's position statement about teaching social justice in English education. Both sources gave definitions of their beliefs pertaining to social justice education and then provided sample activities and assignments, or books, for each of their beliefs that they define in detail. These sources are extremely helpful and eye opening and discuss a concept that is very meaningful and important to me.  

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Human Rights and Social Justice Resources

Human Rights and Social Justice Resources | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it
This 160-page social justice lesson plan book from the Education for Liberation Network includes quotes, essential questions, events related to social justice movements, and reproducible social justice awards for students.
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Kindred's Fireside Chats and Teleconferences

Kindred's Fireside Chats and Teleconferences | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it
Parenting for Social Change, Author, Teresa Graham Brett, JD Teresa is a writer, facilitator, coach, and consultant who lives her passion for creating social change by combining her work in social justice education with parenting.
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Social Justice/Multiculturalism

A look into why social justice and a multicultural curriculum is important in schools across the U.S today
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social justice teaching | Rethinking Schools Blog

social justice teaching | Rethinking Schools Blog | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it
Posts about social justice teaching written by rethinkingschoolsblog
Camille Cocca's insight:

This particular page found on the “Rethinking Schools” blog discusses the banning of critical teaching in Arizona. In 2012, Arizona banned books used in Mexican American Studies that were thought to be teaching critical, social justice that is alert to issues of race, class, culture, and that asks students to reflect on the issues of oppression and struggle. Arizona outlawed specific knowledge, which was primarily any knowledge taught from a Mexican American perspective, that cannot be taught in the schools. Teachers and students alike are joining together to fight this legislation and earn their right to learn from a perspective that the students need and want to learn from. Making the Mexican American perspective in books being taught in schools illegal is only hindering both the teachers and the children from truly learning.

While reading this blog that discussed schools in Arizona that have banned critical teaching, I kept thinking about the powerful Dr. Martin Luther King quote that the social justice issue PowerPoint scoop mentions, “Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I cannot seem to understand why some people feel like we should still be teaching around social justice in schools and sheltering children from reality, historically and presently. Sheltering children from reality only makes reality that much harder when they have to face it on their own. When it is up to the next generation to take a stand for social justice, how would they know how if they do not even understand social justice issues going on all around them? In 2013, why are we still trying to censor children from our history and from our modern reality? If we hide them from it, how can we expect any change to come about? Change starts through the gaining of knowledge. Education is powerful and we need to learn and agree on how to teach it properly so that children can take what they have learned and make a difference. I consider social justice and multicultural education an opportunity to equally represent and include everyone in the curriculum. Right now, curriculums leave out some key representations and perspectives. Social justice and multicultural education would expand those to include everyone. 

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Teaching for Change Building Social Justice Starting in the Classroom

Teaching for Change Building Social Justice Starting in the Classroom | Social Justice Education | Scoop.it
Teaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to transform schools into centers of justice where students learn to read, write and change the world.
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Social Justice Issue: Education (by Denzel Watson) - YouTube

Barack Obama saying a speech about students having their education
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Beliefs about Social Justice in English Education

Camille Cocca's insight:

This article is a position statement made by the National Council of Teachers of English concerning their beliefs about social justice in English Education. The statement addresses the fact that the United State’s has failed at making all people equal as promised in the Declaration of Independence. The Council states that the misuses of power and privilege has “oppressed and marginalized people based on differences of ethnicity, age, gender, ability, social class, political beliefs, marital status, size [height and/or weight], sexual orientation, gender expression, spiritual beliefs, language, and national origin.” They argue that while our educational system should be meditating these differences and providing equal opportunities for all students, schools frequently “reinforce and reproduce injustice”. The statement was published to show commitment in enforcing social justice in all its forms through English education, because the Council believes that English education “can contribute to disrupting these inequitable hierarchies of power and privilege.” The document was to provide policy makers, K-12 English teachers and their students, and those impacted by them with multiple perspectives for understanding the importance of social justice both in and out of the classroom.

            The document is sectioned into the Council’s seven beliefs about social justice in schools in which they explain each in much detail. They provide K-12 activities and assignments, provide teacher activities and assignments that scaffold social justice into methods, provide recommendations for further research, and offer other resources for teachers to use in their classroom. They admit that this document, and this concept of teaching social justice in schools in general, is a work in progress that can be “expanded over time and into future contexts.” The seven beliefs they discuss in detail are as follows, “We believe that social justice is: A goal that evades easy definition, a grounded theory, a stance/position, a pedagogy, a process, a framework for research, a promise. The first belief, definition of social justice, is first explained and then a list of activities and assignments are detailed following the description. The definition of social justice is explained as being complex in that it sparks controversy, is not neutral, and varies by person, culture, social class, gender, context, space and time. The document states that one structured definition of such a complex topic will not satisfy everyone, just like the definition for a complex term such as gender. Some of the activities/assignments include asking the students what social justice means to them, discussing examples of social justice or injustice in their lives, asking them why social justice is important, and to reflect on possible outcomes of living a life that dismisses justice as a priority.

            This document is a gold mine for teachers, and even future teachers like myself, and I will hold onto this document for use in my future classroom. I have learned much about social justice issues and the teaching of social justice issues in my elementary literature class this semester. Through that class I learned the importance of discussing social justice issues, and that they can be taught even through picture books. They can be discussed and taught at all grade levels through adaptations to meet grade level needs and standards. There are problems in the world and these are inequalities that some of your own students face on a daily basis, which is why it is important not to gloss over social justice issues and try to sugar coat the real world. Social justice issues must be taught and understood by students so that they can take that knowledge and make a difference when they are older. They can make changes seeing as how they are our future. We either prepare them to be a knowledgeable and prepared future to create change for social justice, or we continue to shield each generation from the realities of life. I am a firm believer in teaching social justice in English education and I will be doing whatever I can in my own future classroom to incorporate these important topics in each lesson plan I teach. 

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