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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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Part Four: High School Grades: Justice and Teens: Curricular Approaches to Equity in High School

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PART FOUR

High School Grades

Justice and Teens: Curricular Approaches to Equity in High School



Secondary students, many on the brink of active political participation, have already begun to interact with the world of social justice. Many engage in social media, at the very least witnessing the daily swarm of debates on topics ranging from immigration to equity for transgender individuals. Some are already active in marches for women’s rights or standing up for a local cause at their high schools or in their communities. As future participants in our democracy, it is vital that we ensure our adolescent youth are involved in considering multiple perspectives, debating critical issues (Hess, 2009), and recognizing complicity in oppression (Applebaum, 2001). These students will be the ones who lead our country, lobby for political decisions, and teach the next generations. In these formative years we must impact students’ capacity for and confidence in effecting social change.

Because social justice issues do not occur in content areas, it is imperative that we address equity and justice across contexts. Several authors in this section focus on teachers’ pedagogies and, through qualitative study, describe the methods by which educators enhance their students’ critical consciousness through their disciplinary connections. In Chapter 13, Boyd, Bauermeister, and Matteson analyze a reading project in an English classroom in which students were allowed to select the novels they would read and this helped them become more critical consumers...

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