A socially-just educational system and the meaningful enactment of social justice pedagogies can flourish when there is a “balance of accountability and professionalism” (Luke, Woods, & Weir, 2013; Schleicher, 2008). This means that the challenge is not simply fighting for teacher agency and creativity; we must offer meaningful models and curricula that serve as a starting point to educators’ pedagogical praxis. Sadly, what we often have in lieu of informed prescription is what Goodwyn (2012) has called “deformed restriction.” We believe that strong teacher education stems from the sharing and adapting of curricular models and projects. These can be critiqued and adapted to meet local needs and contexts. We do not see these shared projects and activities as static models, but as starting-point exemplars. Following Morgan (2002), we consider the sharing of these exemplars as the entry into “discourse, with its suggestions of interactive, negotiated conversations – those characteristic ways of talking and writing, hence thinking and being, which are common to members of a particular sociocultural group” (p.2). Our vision is that this sharing, critiquing, and discussing is done in and through an ethos of pedagogical “gifting” that resists the increasingly-common commodification of lesson-downloading, professional development, or peer-to-peer support (Luke, 2008, p.87). We invite you to discuss, critique, and adapt these exemplars, and to join our discourse community as we explore ways to enact social justice pedagogies.
- Goodwyn, A. (2012). Informed prescription or deformed restriction? In Goodwyn, A., & Fuller, C. (Eds.). (2012). The great literacy debate: A critical response to the literacy strategy and the framework for English. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Luke. A. (2008) Pedagogy as a gift. In Albright, J. & Luke, A. (Eds.) Pierre Bourdieu and literacy education (pp.68-92). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Luke, A., Woods, A., & Weir, K. (2013). Curriculum, syllabus design, and equity: A primer and model. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Morgan, W. (2002). Critical literacy in the classroom: The art of the possible. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Schleicher, A. (2008). Seeing school systems through the prism of PISA. Curriculum, syllabus design and equity: A primer and a model. New York, NY: Routledge.
Check Out the Exemplars
- Comparative Cultural Biography and Advocacy Intro Activity
- Social Justice Lesson Plan Assessment
- Critical Lens Lesson Plan Task
- Critical Media Analysis Lesson Plan Task
- Cultural Identity Notebook
- Equity Audit and Lesson Plan Task
- Communities Project
- Critical Conversations Assignment
Teacher Education Activities and Resources
- English Language Learner (Emergent Bilingual) Scenarios (for discussion)
- Social Justice Pedagogy Texts
- Movie Poster Creation for Social Justice
Through these exemplars, what knowledge or experience might be generated? What do you see as the strengths of this model, and how might you adapt it to your practice? In what contexts might this template be useful as a starting point? How might you critique this approach? Please share your thoughts under in the discussion in progress under each exemplar.