- Since we are talking about social justice in education this week, I though who better to bring into the conversation but Paulo Freire. Paulo Freire is often admired for his work, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which I believe supports some of what is discussed in the webinar, Critical Literacy and Our Students’ Lives, particularly when they speak about how greater value is placed on certain people/things/ideas because they are a part of the dominant culture. Paulo Freire is an extreme opposite to that of the traditional book based education, but he makes some interesting points.The link above is not to the proper work but to a 5-10 minute video that explains it in laymen’s terms. It is age restricted.
- Something that struck me in Linda Christensen’s Critical Literacy and Our Students’ Lives article, is ever present even in the title. Sometimes, it is difficult for us to perceive our students as people outside the classroom. Linda references how her students would act out, if they showed up to class, because the curriculum was not meeting them where they were. The article, Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach to school discipline, demonstrates how, when we take the time to understand and value the whole student, meet them where they are at, then students actually get what they deserve from school.
- As part of the Connected Learning Certificate at Arcadia University, we have the opportunity to take a class on MakerSpaces and Project-Based Learning. There are many definitions out there about what a MakerSpace is or should be but I really enjoyed the article, Defining Makerspaces: What the Research Says, for its open-mindedness toward the definition of MakerSpace as a community of people who have tools with which they tinker and make things. Does that mean our blogosphere is a MakerSpace in the broadest sense of the word? And that MakerSpaces are a form of connected learning?!
- “They are not actually looking at me, they are looking at my writing.” This is a quote from a young boy in the class that took on blogging as a means of expression. In the technology age, I have seen more students with social anxiety than ever before. This exacerbates the vulnerable process that is writing. However, perhaps there is still hope to be found through blogging as a safe space for expression.
- Edutopia is an interesting resource. This article about Creating Classrooms for Social Justice gives some practices that can be used to develop a social justice classroom. Of particular interest to me was acknowledging that students need to be taught to participate. Participation is not a natural ability for many students.
- Arcadia has a Peace Corps Prep Program. It is an experiential learning program meant to prepare students for the Peace Corps, including helping them understand that commitment. It’s a program that several universities have and involves classes and community participation and is designed to be relevant to current events.