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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 Fourteen: Geography Matters: Face-to-Face Contact Pedagogies to Humanize Unfamiliar Ethnocultural Differences 9th Grade (Joanne M. Pattison-Meek)


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Geography Matters

Face-to-Face Contact Pedagogies to Humanize Unfamiliar Ethnocultural Differences

9th Grade


Canada is a multicultural state that is home to Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) and settler populations, and continues to receive thousands of new immigrants from around the world each year. The extent of diversity present within the country is distinctive, including wide-ranging ethnic, racial, religious, and language diversities. The political inclusion of Canada’s diverse populations, known as multiculturalism in English Canada, emphasizes cultural retention: protecting the values and practices of different ethnocultural populations from being absorbed into mainstream cultures (Gérin-Lajoie, 2012). In other words, diverse groups are supported by law and encouraged to maintain their identity differences as opposed to assimilating.

Citizenship education policy requirements across Canada, determined at provincial and territorial levels, have been a means to nurture students’ understandings and respect for social diversity, equity issues, and associated identity rights (Bickmore, 2014). As yet, there has been very little research to explore the ways in which social studies teachers in Canada’s rural regions teach citizenship education, especially in relation to ethnocultural diversity, so their reasons for doing so and their students’ responses to this remain unknown. In what ways do teachers implement subject matter and pedagogies probing and affirming perspectives in relation to Canada’s vast ethnic, cultural, linguistic, racialized, and religious populations in rural classrooms, where such diversities are sometimes rare...

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