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Possibilities in Practice

Social Justice Teaching in the Disciplines

Edited By Summer Melody Pennell, Ashley S. Boyd, Hillary Parkhouse and Alison LaGarry

This edited collection illustrates different possibilities for social justice practice in various grade levels, disciplines, and interdisciplinary spaces in P–12 education. Chapters in this unique volume demonstrate teaching with a critical lens, helping students develop critical dispositions, encouraging civic action with students, and teaching about topics inclusive of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Based on empirical research, each contribution is rooted in a critical theoretical framework and characterizes findings from sustained study of pedagogic practice, spanning subject matter from social studies, English Language Arts, music, mathematics, and science. Through this work, both pre- and in-service teachers as well as teacher educators will be inspired to practice social justice in their own classrooms.

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Chapter Three: Re-drawing the Line: Queering Our Pedagogy in the Early Childhood Classroom Pre-Kindergarten (Laura Bower-Phipps / Jessica S. Powell / Marissa Bivona / Rebecca Harmon / Anne Olcott)

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CHAPTER THREE

Re-drawing THE Line

Queering Our Pedagogy in the Early Childhood Classroom

Pre-Kindergarten

LAURA BOWER-PHIPPS, JESSICA S. POWELL, MARISSA BIVONA, REBECCA HARMON, AND ANNE OLCOTT



The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has a code of ethics that all early childhood programs must follow. The single most important principle, taking precedence over all others, states, “Above all, we shall not harm children. We shall not participate in practices that are emotionally damaging, physically harmful, disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitative, or intimidating to children” (2005, P-1.1). As three early childhood educators and two university teacher educators, our conception of social justice is intertwined with ethical practice and queer theory. Social justice, ethical practice, and queer theory serve as political calls to action, urging us as educators to identify and challenge educational inequities. William Ayers (2010) described teaching as a profoundly ethical act. He argued that to teach for justice means “working the gap” (p. 137): teaching beyond what is, toward what should be. Such teaching requires educators to navigate the space between the inequities and challenges of reality and the world—free from oppression—which we are working to create. Building on social justice teaching as ethical practice, queer theory provides a lens to understand how institutions normalize certain identities and performances while pathologizing others (Foucault, 1978). Queer theory empowers us to envision and engage with ethical, anti-oppressive practices that challenge systems and...

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