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Showing posts from 2017

Teaching for Equity and Social Justice

I spent the 2016/17 school year at Alberta Education working on social studies curriculum development. It was a year full of learning and working with educators from across the province and I'll always be thankful for the opportunity to experience looking at social studies from a provincial perspective. I learned a lot about my subject and more importantly myself. But I have to be honest, being out of the classroom isn't good for me. When I had the opportunity to go back to teaching at the beginning of the school year I had to jump at it. I underestimated how much being connected to the classroom meant to my identity and passion for advocating a more equitable curriculum and education system. Now that I'm back, I'm feeling more invigorated than ever.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Now that I'm back in the classroom I want to recommit myself to being a teacher that not only advocates for a socially just and equitable education, but also a teacher that in…

Reclaiming Social Justice Education

When I first started teaching almost 10 years ago, I was afraid to talk to teachers about social justice education. I understood the climate at the time and felt that expressing my views about social justice education would prevent me from finding meaningful employment. So I kept my views to myself, tried to play the game, and subversively taught social justice issues in my classroom through my teaching practicum's and first year of teaching. However, as I became more confident in my ability and capacity to advocate for social justice education, I stopped hiding what I was doing in the classroom to share what I have learned in my struggle to be a social justice teacher.

As I look at the teaching climate in our schools today and as I attend conferences, I'm noticing more and more that teachers are embracing social justice. At first, this movement to accepting social justice education had me really excited. I would love the opportunity to have more frequent conversations with ed…

Youth Voice

The more teachers act like authoritarians in the classroom, the less likely our students will be able to uphold our democracy.

How we treat and relate to youth in our schools is directly related to the type of society we strive for. Within the world of education, teachers often promote "student-centred" classrooms and ensuring that our practice has the best interests of students in mind. But what we fail to realize with this approach is that we often fail to truly incorporate student voice in decision making within our classrooms, schools and education system.

Too often, school is just something that happens to students. They go through the motions and learn how to jump through hoops of the structures that we have put in place. Rarely do students get to take part in actual acts of democracy by having their voices heard, considered and accessed as a valuable tool in our classrooms and schools.

Canada has a thorough history of folks from various groups and communities standing…