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Social justice presentation


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Social Justice Project at LREI

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Social justice presentation

  1. 1. From the Classroom to the World: Inspiring Social Justice Activism in the Middle SchoolMark Silbebrerg, Middle School - @silberbergmark - #sj-nysais
  2. 2. Collecting some stories on social justice worktaking place in our schools:Scale, Risk, Innovativeness, and Difficulty
  3. 3. SCALE: Gets at the institutional impact of the programLeft – “Safe” = ideas/program that happen in small pockets inyour school (i.e., in a unit, in a grade, etc.) they may servetheir stakeholders well, but don’t seem to have wider impacts.Right – “Big” = ideas/program that are having an institutionalimpact within and maybe across divisions and acrossdisciplines.
  4. 4. RISK: Is the program pushing stakeholders out of their comfort zones towards core school values?Left – “Achievable” = student outcomes are predictable; hard todifferentiate work from different years; the students are engaged, butthe program is not really mission critical.Right – “Outperforming” = we have some clear goals, but there is a fairamount of flexibility in terms of design; we are learning with ourstudents; we’re all operating just outside of our comfort zones; theprogram evolves with each iteration; failures are learning opportunities.
  5. 5. INNOVATIVENESS: Is the program human-centered, collaborative, prototype-driven and mindful of process?Left – “Following” = we’ve been doing it for a long time; it feels comfortable;no reason to rock the boat; the students are engaged, but we haven’t reallylooked at the learning goals for a long time.Right – “Leading-Edge” = there is a clear thinking/planning cycle: discovery/empathy, interpretation, ideation, experimentation, evolution; there’spotential to transform teaching and learning in ways that are missionfocused.
  6. 6. DIFFICULTY: Is program nimble with low resource demands or dependent on significant institutional support?Left – “Easy” = ideas/programs that stakeholders can implementwithout significant help in terms of institutional time and resources.Right – “Difficult” = ideas/programs that are hard for individualstakeholders or small groups of stakeholders to implement on theirown; significant institutional commitment is required to achievegoals to implement.
  7. 7. Go to to contributeor use the post-it notes
  8. 8. 5th through8th gradecontext forour socialjusticeinquirywork
  9. 9. 5th Grade:Examine ancient civilizations through the lensof archaeological inquiry.
  10. 10. What is civilization/culture?
  11. 11. Contemporary connection:Social justice implications of modernfood production.
  12. 12. 6th Grade:Exploration of Europe and Middle Eastin the Middle Ages
  13. 13. Religion as lens for inquiryCulture/civilization as dynamic process
  14. 14. Contemporary connection:How does an understanding of historicsocial justice issues inform our understanding of thepresent condition?
  15. 15. 7th Grade:Examines pre-colonial US history throughdrafting of the Constitution
  16. 16. Cultures in contact:Native Americans, Africans, EuropeansHistory as narrative - whose story is represented?
  17. 17. Contemporary connection:Utopia vs.dystopia - How are the ideals expressed in theCharters of Freedom reflected in our current Americansociety?
  18. 18. 8th Grade:Exploration of Civil War though Civil Rights Eraaround theme of "Choosing to Participate."
  19. 19. Power and politics as lens for inquiryWho has power and how is power contested?
  20. 20. Our thematic exploration of individuals who had"chosen to participate" raised a compellingproblem for us . . .
  21. 21. We had not created a meaningful context forstudents to "choose to participate"
  22. 22. A starting place . . .
  23. 23. Students learn letter writing, phone calling,email and interview skills that they use toidentify partner organizations
  24. 24. Some of our partners . . .• New York Immigration • Housing Works Coalition • Invisible Children• Mercy Corps Action Center • Ishmael Beah Foundation• Geoffrey Canada, • “It Gets Better" Project• Promise Academy, Harlem • GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Children’s Zone Straight Education Network)• UN Conference on the • The Innocence Project Millennium Goals • CAPP (Child Abuse Prevention Program)• NYC Million Trees • GEMS (Girls Education and• Patricia McCormick Mentoring Services)• SPARK • Global Kids• Common Ground • Food Bank of New York• Office of Disarmament Affairs at the United Nations
  25. 25. Groups create web sites on our Elgg socialmedia site to document their work
  26. 26. They blog about their site visits, interviews andtheir developing understanding of the issues.Peers and partners comment on their posts.
  27. 27. They join in with and initiate actions tosupport their partner organizations
  28. 28. They create PSA in their art class
  29. 29. They plan workshops to teach 5th-7thgraders about their issue for our annualSocial Justice Teach-In
  30. 30. And in the end . . .
  31. 31. Narrowing the distance between theclassroom and world beyond . . .
  32. 32. And opening possibilities for a lifes work
  33. 33. Dialog with Students and Teachers
  34. 34. Returning to the stories of social justice worktaking place in our schools:Scale, Risk, Innovativeness, and Difficulty
  35. 35. From the Classroom to the World: Inspiring Social Justice Activism in the Middle SchoolMark Silbebrerg, Middle School - @silberbergmark - #sj-nysais