Wow, the times just fly by – I now only have 5 more weeks to go of Teaching Practice (TP). A lot of progress has been made, I think that I have built some connections but, we will have to see how things progress.
This week was a relatively short one, I only had three days of school. Monday was a public holiday and then on Wednesday all the teachers had to attend a Teacher’s Workshop on Social Justice, yep I was included. That is the point of interest that I want to talking about for this week.
Teaching as an Act of social Justice
This picture here is what I see as a representation of what teachers really do. Remember last week I said it has nothing too do with the content and that it was only a means to an end. The hidden curriculum is to foster children that are ready to make an intentional, positive impact in the world once they left school.
The workshop introduced me to Social Justice Framework for Teaching by Bree Picower. Picower highlights 6 elements to consider in a social justice curriculum design.
The full research paper can be easily found on Google, however, this was the jist of the matter. I found it to be quite powerful stuff. I truly believe that as a teacher, whether one wants the responsibility or not, we are are all agents of social justice or injustice, depending on what you are perpetuating to your learners. There is no such thing as neutral education, whether be it the teacher or the physical space such as their classroom or even the entire school as a whole.
While I am all for this and recognise the power in Social Justice Education (SJE), at some point in the workshop I could not help but wonder, what would SJE look like in mathematical/science classroom? My mind is stuck at this point because when we speak on the topic of Social Justice, there is a slighlty heavier burden on Language, Social Sciences and Life Orientation curriculums and teachers. It undeniably makes the most sense. The snapshots of the six different elements provide examples and none of them help in any mathematical context. I find that quite difficult to take in but also slightly as a point of thought to think a little harder on the matter.
If you have any ideas feel free to share with me, I am all ears. I know mathematics is not everyone’s favourite, but it does not mean that it can’t be taught and more importantly, understood.
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