This week in ECS 200, we were tasked with reading an article that discussed social justice in schools.
Many of my classes have encouraged new teachers to integrate social justice into the classroom, regardless of subject. From this article, I have realized that social justice can encompass a lot of things including diversity, sustainability, global affairs and issues of race and class. I have always been confused as to how I can possibly integrate social justice issues into my future classroom. I am currently majoring in math and I did not think that I would be able to integrate social justice into a math class. However, I can integrate class and race into a classroom by asking students to calculate the average income of families that are from different classes and races to show the gaps in income in cities or towns.
Since Canada and the Saskatchewan classrooms are becoming more diverse and inclusive, I can integrate social justice by teaching my students to be more understanding and accepting of others that are different from themselves. Teaching students to be accepting and inclusive is an important part of a teacher’s job that is not listed in the curriculum. In the school that I am in for my ECS 100 placement, I have noticed teachers encouraging mainstream children to actively integrate their fellow classmates that have exceptionalities. These children are learning how to be accepting of other children of different abilities while participating in daily classroom activities.
One of the most important things that I found while reading this article was the statement that “Kids need to feel safe” when teachers are teaching social justice issues. I remember in my elementary school, the parents had an option to not include their children in certain topics being discussed such as learning about puberty and genitalia. I think that it is important for teachers to give parents fair warning about what they will be teaching their children so that families are not offended and children are not getting traumatized. Being open with parents also gives them the opportunity to voice their concerns and ultimately decide if they would like their child to participate or not.
Overall, reading this article has opened my eyes to some of the ways that teachers can take social justice a bit too far. It is difficult for teachers to teach social justice to young children and I am left wondering when are children too young to learn about politically fueled issues?
Thank you for reading my blog post!