K-12 Education

Welcome to our K-12 teacher dialogue. Our goal is to promote dialogue on what social justice education might look like and what it means to us as educators. We invite educators from multiple contexts across the nation to participate in these dialogues.

Topics for Discussion

THIS POLITICAL MOMENT: What kinds of teaching and learning are called for in this political moment? What does (or, what might) social justice education look like in your context(s)? What are we doing, and what do we need to be doing? Let’s discuss here–>

Discussion topic #1: One common thread for educators is the belief that our work in multiple disciplines can speak to societal inequities and offer greater options for all students. Some have called this a “social justice” pedagogy, meaning that teaching/learning practices can support learners in thinking critically about society in ways that can lead to systemic changes (as opposed to a “socially-just” pedagogy that aims to prepare all learners for success in our current social system). Based on what you have experienced, read, and learned through past dialogues, what does it mean to be a social justice educator? How might a culturally-responsive pedagogy support a social justice pedagogy? (A related question: do you identify as a social justice educator? Why or why not?) If you mention texts, lessons, films, media clips, etc. please share citations so that we may find and reflect on them too.  Let’s discuss here–>

Discussion topic #2: Why do learners’ and teachers’ identities matter in teaching/learning spaces? What might this have to do with the ways that we understand and assess learners’ strengths? What might his have to do with disciplinary literacies? If you mention texts, lessons, films, media clips, etc. please share citations so that we may find and reflect on them too.  Let’s discuss here–>

Discussion topic #3: Reflect on your philosophy of teaching and learning. What tools have you encountered that help you to enact this philosophy and engage this praxis? Share specific tools and explore how you might employ them to enact your vision of a meaningful learning experience in your disciplinary area. Please feel free to share citations and/or links so that we may find, use, and reflect on them too.  Let’s discuss here–>

Discussion topic #4: How do you/will you decide what themes and topics to engage in the space of your classroom? What themes or issues are or might be encouraged, and what topics are/will be discouraged or perhaps off-limits? How do, or how might, institutional boundaries and school or departmental norms shape what is possible in your classroom? How might an educator distinguish between pushing a topic versus creating a space to respond to student issues or concerns? A related question: how might you navigate the tension between pushing your own interpretations and politics as opposed to encouraging your students to develop their own? If you mention texts, lessons, films, media clips, etc. please share citations so that we may find and reflect on them too.  Let’s discuss here–>