Thursday, February 23, 2006

Social Justice in Education

The question raised in this article is a very good one. Should schools be responsible for implementing and teaching social justice or this the job of society? The author of the article seems to argue that schools are a good place to start. Since schools have such an influence on children and many students come from families/backgrounds where they are unlikely to get proper education on pertinent issues at home, school may just be the best place for social justice education.

This, however, raises another issue: the issue of the hidden curriculum. Are schools unfairly geared towards the white middle class? Research shows that students tend to follow the academic pattern of their parents. Are underpriveleged children being given less opportunities to excel in school and to continue on to the postsecondary level?

To be honest, I am not even sure how to respond to this article. It seems like such a complicated issue with so many sides. While I definitely feel that schools should be a fair and just place, I recognize that this is both difficult and complicated. If you take some of the views in this article too the extreme, you end up with a very communistic society. Can this work? Furthermore, the author highlights that there are two definitions to the word justice. 1) question of fairness in distribution for thich the normal criterion is equality and 2) getting what one deserves. These definitions lead to differing conclusions in the social justice debate. Again, I have a hard time taking a firm stand-point on the issue because it is so complex. I do, however, believe that it is our responsibility as teachers (and citizens of earth) to develop an opinion on such issues by becoming informed and by ensuring that we are doing all that we can to put this into practice in our classroom. (Therefore, I plan to contemplate this issue further to discover my personal standpoint.)


Blogger Jen said...

It is difficult to find the line between educating through social justice and teaching the hidden curriculum. I believe one must first decide one's standpoint on the hiddent curriculum before one is able to make any decisions on social justice.

8:08 p.m.  

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