Social Justice A Transformative Model � Education for Democracy by 78zq4k7


									            Social Justice
     A Transformative Model –
Education for Democracy and Equality

       Sheila Landers Macrine, Ph.D.
          New Jersey City University
               April 16, 2010
Social Justice is…
   The practice of promoting and
    protecting human rights and
    responsibilities, with a particular
    emphasis on the economic and social
    rights of society’s most vulnerable
    groups - Human Rights Resource Center
What is at issue?

           “Large numbers of new teachers
          describe themselves as distinctly
       underprepared for the challenges of
           dealing with the ethnic and racial
 diversity that they find in the classroom at
                  a time when many schools
     have increasingly varied populations.”

    National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, and Public Agenda, 2008
         So, Why does preparing teachers for
                           diversity matter?

• a civic responsibility
• a moral responsibility
• the future of public
education is at stake
• the sociopolitical
context demands it
It matters because, in spite of it all,
         good teaching can help…
“what teachers
know and do is one
of the most
influences on what
students learn”
(National Commission on Teaching and
America’s Future, 1996)
      Reality of our Schools
   37 million Americans in poverty
   13% of America‟s children are in poverty
   60% of lunches served in school are free or reduced
   Viewpoints in schools are Eurocentric and
   Produces racism and prejudice skin color, age,
    religion, physical and mental disabilities, sexual
            Some Questions we might
   What does teaching for social justice really
   Can American schools educate all students
    in a social/ equitable educational
   How can academically rigorous, antiracist,
    critical, and pro-justice teaching be
    grounded in the lives of students and?
   Why is it necessary to explore in detail the
    dynamics of the multiple forms of
    oppression? [ableism, ageism, classism,
    homophobia, racism, sexism]
                 When does Social Justice Begin?
                                 It begins when the
                       Socially Dormant Conscience Awakens
    The path to social justice begins with gaining passion
     for the plight of non-privileged, underperforming students.
         We need to ask ourselves:
           Who tends to be privileged?
           What does it mean to be privileged in this way?
           Who tends to be marginalized?
           What does it mean to be marginalized in this way?
           Ways we tend to deny that privilege is occurring?
           What happens in the classroom?
           How can we take action in the classroom to
            interrupt these cycles of oppression?
Richard A. McCormick, S.J. (1999). The Social Responsibility of the Christian. Blueprint for Social Justice LII(11), 1.]
           It can also begin with
    conversations among faculty
               and students by…
   Creating a “safe” but not
    “comfortable” space
   Engaging in “dangerous
   Sharing experiences through
    collaborative readings, research,
    program planning
Social Justice
embodies essential
 principles of equity
  and access to all
  opportunities in
      society in
  accordance with
    principles and
    respect for all
 persons and points
       of view.
Many of our National Teacher
   Believe in and are committed to
  teaching for social justice, defined
 improving the learning of all pupils
   and enhancing their life chances.

           For Example……
     The American Educational Research
Association (AERA) Social Justice Mission
   As an elaboration of its general research mission, AERA commits:
   to promote diversity and inclusiveness in AERA;
   to promote social justice principles and policies in the conduct of
    education research; that is, in funding of research and training;
   to promote activities that foster a diverse community of education
    researchers; and
   to disseminate and promote the use of research knowledge and
    stimulate interest in research on social justice issues related to
                           AERA-Adopted in June 2004, Reaffirmed January 2006
  NCTM, 2000 Social
  Justice Statement
The vision of equity in mathematics
 education challenges a pervasive
 societal belief in North America that
 only some students are capable of
 learning mathematics.
                    THE NCTM’s
      first Standards document
       (1989, p. 4) asserted that
 “The social injustices of past schooling practices can no
longer be tolerated.”
Unfortunately, some inequities persist in varying degrees
 and forms.
For example, public schools in heavily-
minority neighborhoods are less likely to
be well-funded or have teachers who are
highly qualified or certified in the subject
they are assigned to teach math (Flores, 2008).
       National Science Education

   The eight categories of national science
    education standards reflect a new emphasis
    on the themes of constructivist approaches,
    diversity, and social justice common
    throughout the education reform movement.
               National Association for the
Education of Young Children’s             Depth of
 Commitment to Inclusion and Diversity includes:

                                 Equity and justice concerns
                                    Antibias approaches to
                                        early childhood
                                    Cultural Competence
                                    Extensive opportunities to
                                       consider and apply
                                     Ethical values of caring,
                                        justice, and equity
             NAECY‟S Recommends

   Targeting the population of 4-8 years old
   Increase tolerance and respect among cultures
   Decrease achievement gap
   Promote Multicultural Education and Social
    Justice that emphasizes addressing social
    questions and a quest to create a better society
    and worldwide democracy.
   It also focuses on a curriculum that
    highlights social reform as the aim
    of education.
      Ideological Societal Goals

   Increase tolerance and respect for one
    another‟s cultures
   Close the educational achievement gap
   Recognize and promote recognition of
    inequities to empower our students so
    that they can empower those around
What is the role of higher
   Promoting teaching as a career within the academy
   Providing more enriching course work, both in the
    arts and sciences and in education
   Creating rigorous criteria for entering the profession -
    but not just GPAs or passing scores on certification
   Vigorously recruiting underrepresented populations,
    both faculty and students
   Partnering with community colleges
   Partnering with urban schools
      To recruit students
      For professional development
           The Goal of a Social Justice
   Ana-Maria Villegas (2007) states, the “overriding
    goal of the social justice agenda in teacher
    education is to prepare teachers who can teach all
    students well, not just those traditionally well
    served by schools, so that as adults, all are able
    to participate in the economic and political life of
    the country.”
   AND that “teachers...have a moral and ethical
    responsibility to teach all their pupils, fairly and
Teaching for Social Justice

   Challenging deficit perspectives and
    promoting affirming views of diverse
    students is a precursor to building
    teacher candidates’ disposition to teach
    all students equitably” (Villegas, 2007).
   The use of culturally relevant pedagogy
    can be used as a mechanism for
    teaching for social justice.
              Curriculum can
   Lessons on oppression, unfairness,
    power & inequity
   Explore family history to create parent
   Assessments that are appropriate for
   Adopting a Culturally Responsive
   Use funds of knowledge of students
           We Know Teacher Dispositions
           Affect Student Learning and
               Classroom Teaching

   Taylor and Wasicsko (2000) claimed that “there is a
    significant body of research indicating that
    teachers’ attitudes, values and beliefs about
    students…strongly influence the impact they will
    have on student learning and development”
   “Dispositions are in the long run, more important
    than knowledge and skills” (Wilkerson, 2006).
                         „Surface‟ Thinking
                             (“Ostrich” Approach)
                             Value-free education

•Value-free     education (i.e., view that education is neutral; reinforces the
•Equality (i.e., color blindness & culture blindness; assumes all students are
treated in the same way; assumes assimilation to a dominant (“mainstream”)
•Labeling,     sorting, and tracking students (i.e., deficit model for lowest
tracks; remedial, watered-down curriculum prevails; low expectations).

•   Teacher-centered (i.e., Freire‟s “banking model”; “sage on the stage”;
prescriptive teaching methodologies; focuses on knowledge of content).

•   Learning about “Other cultures” (i.e., “we vs. they”; heroes and
holidays approach; characteristics and privileges of dominant groups are invisible
and unexamined).
•Rhetorical      intent and narrow outcomes (i.e., adequate yearly
progress; only English-language standardized tests scores “count”; a narrow
definition (autonomous models) of literacy).
             Social Justice Thinking
              Transformative Education

•Transformative        education (i.e., Education is part of the political-social
process; education reflects social ideologies).

•Equity (i.e., Conviction to and belief in equitable treatment; takes into account
students of diverse races, genders, social classes, languages and cultures; critical
of inequality and marginalizations)..
•Equal     educational opportunities for all children (i.e., Belief that all
children can achieve to full potential; provides access to challenging academic
curriculum; inclusive).
•   Student -centered (i.e., critical pedagogy, reflective practice, teachers as
students/ students as teachers; focuses content & process).
•Critically examining Culture, including my own and how they
come to be. (i.e., Deep reflection regarding assumptions, values, beliefs;
critically examines “whiteness”.)
•   Broad outcomes and multiple assessments (i.e., Follows students‟
growth from where they started; solutions oriented after identifying a problem; builds
coalitions through valuing and integrating families).
     We already believe in Teaching
           for Social Justice
    New Jersey City University strives to ensure
    that all teacher candidates are prepared to
    teach a diverse student population from a
    multicultural and global perspective. We also
    strive to foster a culture of awareness and
    acceptance among our faculty and students that
    enables our students to understand the role of
    diversity and equity in the teaching and learning
So, how do we operationalize
a Social Justice Agenda in our
Teacher Education Programs
Learning to Teach for Social Justice--Beliefs Scale:
An Application of Rasch Measurement Principles.
Ludlow, Larry H.; Enterline, Sarah E.; Cochran-Smith, Marilyn (2009).

Entry and Exit Survey Items
Respond to the following statements regarding your beliefs about teaching:

1. An important part of learning to be a teacher is examining one's own attitudes and
        beliefs about race class, gender, disabilities, and sexual orientation.

2.   Issues related to racism and inequity should be openly discussed in the classroom.

3R . For the most part, covering multicultural topics is only relevant to certain subject
           areas, such as social studies and literature.

4. Good teaching incorporates diverse cultures and experiences into classroom lessons and
5R. The most important goal in working with immigrant children and English
          language learners is that they assimilate into American society.
6R. It's reasonable for teachers to have lower classroom expectations for students
          who don't speak English as their first language,
7. Part of the responsibilities of the teacher Is to challenge school arrangements
          that maintain societal inequities.
8. Teachers should teach students to think critically about government positions
          and actions.
9R. Economically disadvantaged students have more to gain in schools because
          they bring less to the classroom,
lOR. Although teachers have to appreciate diversity, it's not their job
          to change society.
11R. Whether students succeed in school depends primarily on how hard they
12R. Realistically, the job of a teacher is to prepare students for the lives they ar
          likely to lead.
Note. Likert-type rating scale for responses: 1 = strongly disagree: 2 = disagree; 3 = uncertain: 4 =agree: S
strongly agree. R denotes reverse-scored items.
   "There is no such thing as a neutral education
    process. Education either functions as an
    instrument which is used to facilitate the
    integration of generations into the logic of the
    present system and bring about conformity to it,
    or it becomes the „practice of freedom‟, the
    means by which men and women deal critically
    with reality and discover how to participate in
    the transformation of their world."
   —Jane Thompson, drawing on Paulo Freire
                 PAULO FREIRE

It is impossible to talk of
respect for students, for the
dignity that is in the process of
coming to be, for the identities
that are in the process of
construction, without taking
into consideration the
conditions in which they are
living and the importance of the
knowledge derived from life
experience, which they bring
with them to school. I can in no
way underestimate such
knowledge. Or what is worse,
ridicule it.”
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom,
                The need for social justice in public
               education is so important at all levels

   Social justice is firmly embedded in multicultural
    education, and teachers are encouraged to work
    for social change in their classrooms, schools, and
    communities. -Sonia Neito
   The act of learning to read and write has to start
    from a very comprehensive understanding of the
    act of reading the world, something which human
                                                               Sonia Nieto
    beings do before reading the words.                  Professor of Education
    -Paulo Freire                                            at University of
                                                              Amherst, MA

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