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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 Ten: Fixing the World: Social Justice in World History 7th Grade (Jeff A. Greiner)

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CHAPTER TEN

Fixing THE World

Social Justice in World History

7th Grade

JEFF A. GREINER



Teaching for social justice in a social studies classroom seems to be a natural fit, and implementing an inquiry-based form of instruction seems to live alongside the goals of social justice easily. The natural inclination is to use social studies as a means of highlighting the historical injustices in society that continue to impact the lives of the disaffected in the modern world. When the prescribed content of the social studies class is world history, however, the equation changes. While it is easy to highlight inequity that has its roots in things like colonialism, slave trade, reactions to global wars, and more, those roots are so far removed from many students’ experiences that it is often difficult to help them see that history as relevant to their lives. What is less difficult to accomplish, especially in the latter part of world history, is to help teach students about the power that they possess to impact the world, and for them to practice having such an impact.

Armed with these thoughts, I sought to create such a unit for the 4th quarter of my 7th grade modern World History course. I had worked to incorporate critical and social justice teaching methods all year, such as honoring student narratives, examining multiple perspectives, and examining concepts with a critical lens. All...

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