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Social Justice

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on 18 October 2015

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Transcript of Social Justice

INTRO: What is social justice? --------------------------------- 3-10
Social Justice Checklist ---------------------------------------- 11-17
Social Justice in the Multicultural Urban School -------------- 19-39
Forms of Justice ------------------------------------------------ 40
Connection to Case 2 ------------------------------------------- 42
What is Bullying --------------------------------------------- 43-50
Social Justice and Bullying in the Classroom ------------------ 51-53
Bullying and Implications for the Classroom ----------------- 54-64
The Age Question -------------------------------------------- 65-67
Making Space ----------------------------------------------- 68-76
Things We Can Do ------------------------------------------- 78-81
Activities ---------------------------------------------------- 82-85
CONCLUSION (Ties all this to the ELLs in the case)
ELLs and Social Justice Education ------------------------ 86-89
Fair vs. Equal -------------------------------------------- 90-94
Glossary ---------------------------------------------------- 96-102
Annotated Bibliography ----------------------------------- 103-110


Table of contents
Urban schools serve a big, complex, and diverse group of students in areas marked by profound socioeconomic disparity, ethnic diversity, and higher immigrant populations. Inner-city schools are also more susceptible to educational mandates and sanctions, usually called “reforms,” that are monitored carefully for their strict adherence to regulated curricula, technical standards, standardized evaluations, and high-stakes testing preparation and performance. (Lalas, 2007, 18)
7 inequitable conditions
(BCTF, 2010)

... Is participatory democracy

... Is open and available to all

... Is the gateway to inclusion and participation

... Can hinder or enable an individual or group to take part
#1 ACCESS...
#2 agency...
... Is a transformative practice

... Has the intention to effect change

... Means that individuals know their rights

... Gives individuals the ability to voice their concerns and take actions that create change for the better
#3 advocacy...
...Is systemic change

... Includes skills to effect change

... Is a deliberate process of influencing outcomes so that change can occur

... Requires a set of skills that allows a person to understand a problem and effect change using varied strategies and tactics

... Can be done individually or in groups

... Involves awareness (knowing what’s happening), analysis (seeing the different parts, their impact, and the importance to the whole), and action plans (knowing what to do and how to do it)

... Calls for action plans that include a purpose, a message, and an audience.
#4 Solidarity action...
... Creates a civil society

... Means collectively working for change

... Refers to working with others to act for the collective betterment

... Requires us to recognize injustice, to work across differences to find a common ground, and to achieve equity

... Requires coalition building within a group and networking with other groups

... Includes skills like empathy, co-operation, coalition building, and effective mediation and conflict-resolution skills.
A CHECKLIST for the Teacher's Classroom
❏ values a welcoming and inclusive approach to all people equally
❏ values openness to the ideas and opinions of others as equal participants
❏ teaches the value of multiple perspectives
❏ demonstrates respect for democratic processes and civil society
❏ values community and co- operation
❏ responsive to all others equally

❏ develops understanding of one’s right to create change
❏ encourages belief in one’s ability to affect one’s own reality
❏ nurtures action and empowerment of everyone equally
❏ develops ability to think critically about social problems
❏ develops leadership skills
❏ values recognition and respect for the agency of others
❏ actively encourages leadership in working towards positive change that benefits everyone
❏ encourages people to find their own voice
❏ empowers people
❏ values participatory democracy
❏ contributes to the development of ability to participate in the world
❏ contributes to the development of ability to change the world

❏ builds skills needed to effect systemic change using various strategies
❏ develops an understanding of one’s position and privilege in society
❏ develops awareness of social realities
❏ develops analytical ability
❏ develops awareness of how to respond to make change
❏ develops voice and agency to enhance the ability to influence outcomes
❏ empowers the voice of disenfranchised and minorities

Solidarity action

❏ promotes transformative work for the betterment of others
❏ nurtures an understanding that an injury to one is an injury to all
❏ values co-operation and coalition-building
❏ works across differences to find common ground
❏ advocates broad interconnections and common goal-setting and actions
❏ shows recognition of the strength in unity
❏ shows effectiveness in mediating and resolving conflict to build alliances
❏ encourages collaboration with disenfranchised or minorities
❏ nurtures ability to take action with empathy

Connection to case 2
What is bullying?
Social justice in the multicultural urban school
Inequitable access to appropriately trained teachers.
Inadequate professional development opportunities for teachers.
Inequitable access to appropriate assessment – only measures of achievement for ELLs' are tests administered in English with an exclusive reliance on an English –language norm-referenced achievements tests for ELLs.
Inadequate instructional time – losing time transitioning between ELL program and the permanent classroom (also have fewer assistants to help).
Inequitable access to instructional materials and curriculum – teachers use same books for ELLs and English-only students with no materials adapted to their linguistic needs.
Inequitable access to adequate facilities - overcrowded classrooms, poorer working conditions for teachers, less parental involvement, and more neighbourhood crime.
Intense segregation into schools and classrooms that place them at high risk for educational failure
(Lalas, 2007, 18)
It is imperative that both pre-service and in-service teachers be assisted and guided in developing their content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and advocacy for social justice to improve the overall education of their students in urban schools. (Lalas, 2007, 19)
Teachers for social justice need to understand one’s identity, other people’s backgrounds and worldviews, and the sources of inequities and privileges. Sensitivity to these issues will be helpful
in facilitating the learning of students authentically and making a difference in their lives. (Lalas, 2007, 19)
Through dynamic interchange of the learner, teacher, and classroom context, the following teaching and learning principles drawn from the teaching for social justice conceptualizations can be applied:
Understanding oneself in relation to other individual or group of individuals.
Appreciating diversity and promoting equity.
Recognizing inequities and how to diminish them.
Equitable participation and allocation of resources.
Creating a caring and culturally responsive learning environment.
Working together as a learning community.
Engagement in classroom inquiry.
Critical thinking and reflection.
Using varied forms of assessment for equitable and fair monitoring of student progress.
(Lalas, 2007, 20)
Students’ perceptions of fairness regarding outcomes that occur in the instructional context.

Students’ perceptions of the fairness of outcomes received in the instructional context (i.e. grades).

Students’ perceptions of the fairness of the interpersonal treatment they receive(d) from their instructors (i.e. accusations, insensitivity, singling students out etc.).

Students’ perceptions of the processes used to assign outcomes (i.e. course policies, scheduling, workload etc.).

(Chory, 2014)
Forms of
social injustice and bullying in the classroom
without social justice:
Hurtful messages, including false accusation, threats, and undermining intelligence will negatively alter student perception of classroom justice between the teacher and other peers. (Chory, 2014)
with social justice:
Students who feel comfortable in their surroundings feel empowered, confident in their learning abilities, and can accomplish school-related goals and activities. They are more likely to engage in course content, thus increasing their likelihood to learn new material. (Chory, 2014)
bullying and implications for the classroom
(Sanders et al., 2004)
“Bullying can be viewed as a mental health concern, a public health concern, and a school adjustment concern – all of which have implications for students’ ability to learn in school – for youth from a wide range of age groups and cultures” (Sanders et al., 2004, 38).
In addition to the students who are directly involved in peer harassment, bystanders are at risk for adjustment difficulties and other negative affects (Sanders et al., 2004)
Aggressive youth experience more peer rejection and exhibit high levels of delinquency, psychological maladjustment, and lower levels of school performance than do socially adjusted youth. Aggression is not only limited to externalizing forms of maladjustment but has also been associated with increased internalized symptoms such as depression. (39)
Students labeled as aggressive by their peers are likely to have negative feelings about school fairness (which leads to disengagement) compared to their non-aggressive counterparts. (39)
Targets of peer aggression are also at concurrent and long-term risk for a host of psychological and social adjustment difficulties, including depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem, and peer rejection (39).
Both direct and indirect links have been found between peer harassment and indicators of school functioning, including decreased appreciation of school, lower GPAs and increased absenteeism. (39)
In elementary and middle school youth, 10% of the student sample admitted to staying away from school because they were bullied. Almost 1/3 said that they thought about not attending school. (39)
Potential negative consequences are associated with bullying for students who do not fall into the roles of bullies, victims, or bully-victims.
Perceptions of high peer victimization levels within a schools have found to be associated with more negative perceptions of school climate à decreased school engagement (40)
Witnessing peer harassment at school has also been associated with an increase in daily feelings of anxiety and school aversion (40)
It is widely supported that “[g]rade-school children are developmentally able to put cultural and racial differences into perspective” (Butler, 2012) and because of this, there is a need to address this issue even in primary years. It is important to emphasize the idea that bullying and discrimination are serious topics that can not be disregarded as ‘joking around’ (Raby, 2004).
The BC Ministry of Education’s publication, Making Space: Teaching Diversity and Social Justice Throughout the K-12 School Curriculum encourages discussing certain issues with younger children, and how to incorporate these issues into the curriculum.
The guide explains to both teachers and parents that “children do not live in isolation from the world, and teachers play an important role in providing appropriate context to enhance children’s understanding of the world in which they live” (21).
Teachers have the ability to provide children with the tools to navigate their world in a way that is respectful and understanding of all differences that they may encounter.
The guide continues to explain the most effective ways to introduce children to social justice issues; they suggest teaching social justice through language arts and fine arts. The use of drama, reading, writing and oral discussion are extremely influential.
Questioning the children and discussing the issues with them are shown to be one of the most effective ways for them to comprehend the often complicated issues. It also creates a comfortable environment that supports curiosities related to social justice.
The guide breaks down the areas of social and emotional development that are expected for each grade - this is helpful because it allows teachers to construct their ideas of social justice based on their developmental levels.
When adapting the curriculum to suit the classroom, teachers are reminded to bring in the experiences of various cultures into their classroom as well (Hyland, 2010) as a way to apply it and make the lessons relatable.

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to stop bullying and discrimination. However, the cooperation of the school community, the parents and the teachers can have a very large and positive impact. On a whole, it is important that a strong sense of community is established in the school, the classroom and in the home. Parents should not only set good examples, but also “explicitly explain what it is and that it's not normal or tolerable for them to bully, be bullied, or stand by and watch other kids be bullied” (O’Brien, 2007).
The openness of the conversation around bullying helps make the complicated issue understandable. In order to strengthen parent-teacher communications, it can be helpful if the teacher keeps the parents informed about what is being learned in the classroom. As children’s curiosity grows, it is important to inform the parents about the questions that their children have been asking, and how they have been answered based on what was learned in class (O’Brien). By keeping parents informed, the risk of the children receiving “mixed messages from school and home” (Understanding Prejudice, 2015) are greatly decreased.
From a school community standpoint, many schools adopt a school wide policy regarding community and social justice. It is important for teachers to reinforce these expectations To support these efforts a program where children are rewarded for being positive role models could be an appropriate activity, for example, ‘citizenship tickets’ that could lead to a prize.
Cultural Dinner:

Send notices home (translated if needed) and invite parents to a cultural night.To move away from the ‘tourist approach of this activity,’ have children participate in a number of activities to solidify what they’ve learned from that dinner. It is important that they understand the ‘bigger picture,’ of the multicultural community they live in; this can be done through discussion.
The BC Ministry of Education provides a lesson plan for a Drama activity in their ‘Making Space’ guide on page 23. It allows the children to actively participate in the activity and also includes a number of follow up questions for the activity.
can be a very effective way to introduce the ideas of bullying into the classroom. Discussion can allow children to be curious about the subject of bullying, and solutions for bullying can be brought to the children’s attention as well. Here are some suggested stories:
It’s OK to be Different (by Todd Parr)
The Juice Box Bully (by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy)
The Recess Queen (by Alexis O’Niell)
ells and social justice education
The previously mentioned activities can all be adapted for ELLs through the inclusion of images. The use of comic strips or drawings and organizing ideas into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories could also be another way to express their thoughts on issues such as bullying and discrimination.
If the ELL parents do not speak English, the use of a translator or translated notices could be sent home to update the parents on the issues that are being discussed in class. The conveying of information could also open a conversation between the ELL parents and the teacher, and it could be to the benefit of the teacher as they could give their insight and opinion of the social justice issues that they have noticed not speaking English as a first language.
Theoharis and O’Toole argue in their article that social justice leaders such as teachers and principals “must act as advocates in their schools and communities and, specifically, as advocates for the needs of marginalized students” (649). Us as teachers as well as the principal must be aware of possible social justice issues that could arise and create a strong, safe community in the school and in the classroom, where it is understood that bullying and discrimination are not tolerated.
Avoidance behaviour - a pervasive pattern of avoiding or withdrawing from social interaction; a defense mechanism by which a person removes himself/herself from unpleasant situations

Bullying - Bullying is a form of aggression where there is a power imbalance; the person doing the bullying has power over the person being victimized

Classroom justice - “perceptions of fairness regarding outcomes or processes that occur in the instructional context” (Chory, 2014, 254)

Culture - the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group

Distributive justice - students' perceptions of the fairness of outcomes received in the instructional context (i.e. grades) (Chory, 2014, 254)

Diversity - The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration
of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. (http://gladstone.uoregon.edu/~asuomca/diversityinit/definition.html)

Engagement - action, drawing favourable attention or interest in a topic

Equity - involves trying to understand and give people what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives

Interactional justice - students' perceptions of the fairness of the interpersonal treatment they receive(d) from their instructors (Chory, 2014, 255)

Inequity - a close synonym of injustice and unfairness: usually relates to more qualitative matters. It also describes immeasurable disparities.

Maladjustment - Inability to adjust to the demands of interpersonal relationships and the stresses of daily living

Procedural justice - students’ perceptions of the processes used to assign outcomes (i.e. course policies, scheduling, workload etc.) (Chory, 2014, 255)

annotated bibliography
BCTF (2010). A social justice lens: A teaching resource guide. Retreived from:

This guide defines the four main components of social justice and provides a checklist and worksheets that help teachers identify social justice practices in their own classroom.

British Columbia Ministry of Eduaction. (2008). Making space: teaching diversity and social justice throughout the K-12 cirriculum. Retrieved from: https://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/pdfs/making_space/makingSpace_full.pdf.

A rich guide that breaks down the teaching of diversity and social justice into different subject areas and grade levels. In almost every subject, there are ways to incorporate social justice teachings. It provides a number of lesson plans and activities to be used in the classroom. For the grades K-3 there is a strong emphasis on emotional and social development and how the children can become better citizens in their community and classroom. The lesson plans and activities can be adapted depending on how indepth into social justice topics one would like to go.

Butler, C. (2012). 10 ways to teach kids about diversity. Retrieved from: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/parenting/school-age/10-ways-to-teach-kids-about-diversity.

This article from this website, while not a scholarly website, has a number of important tips for parents and teachers who wish to teach their children about diversity. The information given includes both questions for self reflection from the parent or teacher and how to introduce diversity and race to children as young as two.

Chory, R. M., Horan, S. M., Carton, S. T., & Houser, M. L. (2014). Toward a Further Understanding of Students’ Emotional Responses to Classroom Injustice. Communication Education, 63(1), 41–62. http://doi.org/10.1080/03634523.2013.837496

This journal article looks into students’ perceptions of various types of injustice within the classroom. The findings of the study is that students with negative emotions towards school will underperform academically and create more disparity within the classroom regarding social justice. A strength in the article is that it defines different types of injustice, such as classroom injustice, procedural injustice, and interactional injustice. A weakness is that the study’s effect sizes were small, so despite the results were statistically significant, there should be some reconsideration or further examination on the study.

Hyland, N. (2010). Social justice in early childhood classrooms. Research in Review, 1-7. Retrieved from: http://ececompsat.org/docs/dld-socialjustice.pdf.

Using a number of scholarly sources to support their statements and research findings, this article supports the notion of teaching social justice in an elementary school classroom. This article is useful both for the case study and emerging teachers because it places emphasis on not only using scenarios to teach social justice, but to use specific examples from the children (regarding culture, occurrences of social injustice) in order to further strengthen the ideas of community and better understand the cultural makeup and backgrounds of the children in the classroom.

Lalas, J. (2007). Teaching for Social Justice in Multicultural Urban Schools: Conceptualization and Classroom Implication. Multicultural Education, 14(3), 17-21.

This journal article examines the conceptualization of social justice in urban schools. The findings of this article talks about the intricate relationship between teacher, student, and classroom when discussing social justice. A strong feature of this article shows the main inequities found in classrooms as well as offers learning principles for teaching social justice. A weakness in this source was based on schools in the United States, so the information may not be relevant to the schools in BC, Canada.

Miller, S. J. (2012). Mythology of the norm: Disrupting the culture of bullying in schools. English Journal, 101 (6), 107-109.

This article discusses the relationship between the norm, social context and bullying. It highlights what the power is of social norms and gives teachers a way to respond to bullying by teaching their students to look closely at social norms and their relationship to bullying in order to stop it where it starts.

O’Brien, A. (2011). Edutopia Bullying Prevention: 5 Tips for Teachers, Principals and Parents.
The tips that are given in this webpage are extremely beneficial for parents, teachers and principals. It cites a number of scholarly sources but presents the information compiled in a non-scholarly, reader-friendly way. The content is very useful, and the way that it is presented allows parents and those outside of academia to comprehend and apply the anti-bullying help to their lives.

Raby, R. (2004). ‘There’s no racism at my school, its just joking around’: ramifications for anti-racist education. Race, Ethnicity, Education 7 (4), 367-383. doi: 10.1080/1361332042000303388.

Although the main subjects of the study were adolescents, the conclusions drawn from Raby’s research are still very applicable to the social justice issues that are likely to be found in elementary school. When teaching children about education and bullying it is extremely important that the adult does not take instances of social injustice and disregard them as a harmless joke. When discussing issues, particularly racism, it is easy to remove oneself from the serious situation at hand. By taking the accounts from the research subjects into consideration, teachers can build on the way in which they present social injustice and how oftentimes the issues are not taken into consideration.

Sanders, C. E., Phye, G. D., & Ebrary Academic Complete (Canada) Subscription Collection. (2004). Bullying: Implications for the classroom. San Diego, Calif: Elsevier/Academic Press.

This article is about bullying and how it affects children within the classroom, the home, and when interacting with others. A strength in the article is that it examines the long-term effects of bullying and the negative consequences to the bully, victim, bully-victim, and bystander. A weakness in the article is the lack of acknowledgement for ELLs and how bullying can impact their experience at school. This article is useful because it can help a teacher address bullying in the class and when to take action.

Theoharis, G. and O’Toole, J. (2011). Leading Inclusive ELL: Social Justice for English Language Learners. Educational Administration Quarterly 47 (4), 646-688. doi:10.1177/0013161X11401616.

The importance of teacher and administrative involvement in social justice issues is emphasized in this article. The information examined is very relevant to the idea of an inclusive classroom and creating a non-segregated environment. The idea of pull-outs for ELLs and children with learning disabilities is examined, as well as the social and emotional consequences that such actions can have. It is a particularly useful article because the authors take the information that they’ve compiled and apply it to the future and continuing education of social justice in the future generations.

Understanding Predijuice. (2015). Tips for elementary school teachers. Retrieved from: http://www.understandingprejudice.org/teach/elemtips.htm

This list, aimed specifically at elementary school teachers, provides information as to how to build an inclusive classroom community and also how to appropriately those who commit, possibly unknowingly, acts of discrimination or bullying.
Even when students are not directly involved in bullying, they may be negatively impacted in ways that can impede the learning process.
how we can incorporate the ells into this topic of our case
[Case 2]
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