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How can we integrate social justice, ecological justice and democracy issues in everyday school science learning? Michelle Olchowski, Bryan Chappell, Anjuli.

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Presentation on theme: "How can we integrate social justice, ecological justice and democracy issues in everyday school science learning? Michelle Olchowski, Bryan Chappell, Anjuli."— Presentation transcript:

1 How can we integrate social justice, ecological justice and democracy issues in everyday school science learning? Michelle Olchowski, Bryan Chappell, Anjuli Ahooja, Meg O’Mahony, Louis Laroche, Tom Eagan, Clayton Ellis, Rosa & Justin (Appleby Students)

2 How can we integrate social justice, ecological justice and democracy issues in everyday school science learning? The context for this discussion is that we want to enable our students to engage in meaningful dialogue about these issues. What do these terms mean? Ecological justice: Ecological justice is relatively new and we (society) are still trying to get a handle on it. The care and protection of the environment cannot be isolated from basic human needs. It connects economics and many things through a lens of the environment. Democracy issues: It is absorbed in the other two. It is being able to share knowledge and in making decisions. It is the umbrella that goes over everything we do in school because we believe that everyone has equal rights and opportunities – human rights – CONTEXT. Social justice: Using the perspective of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, social justice means acceptance of each other for who they are and recognizes the dignity of every human being. If we can enable students to think and analyse critically information/issues in front of them. We hope this may empower them to continue to do so as adults when they need to and have the influence to affect change.

3 How can we integrate social justice, ecological justice and democracy issues in everyday school science learning? What are the challenges that we face when integrating above? 1.TIME We are all busy people!! 2.AMBIGUITY Refer to previous slide – difficult to define and resolve perspectives 3.EXPECTATIONS There are many and extremely varied expectations on teachers such as: Content (superficial STEM); Administrative mandate; Post secondary requirements (or college for middle years or …); Cultural (students/parents, learned) Science literacy = to critically examine – in post modern times whatever you can convince people to believe becomes truth Sometimes the discussion and posing the question is all we need to do to help the students with their literacy 4.VULNERABILITY Teachers are in a very vulnerable position in relation to the following: Community (students, parents, admin, political) reaction Cultural/perspective differences & tensions within schools and between communities Teaching to be activism is a huge responsibility

4 How can we integrate social justice, ecological justice and democracy issues in everyday school science learning? Strategies to create opportunity, discussion &/or awareness Find real world context (local or global) sharing our resources with each other using our resources such as online or from colleagues: Take it Global Part of the context rather than as the content, though it cannot be forced Incorporation into assessment practises rather than as the content Start small – poke at the edges (change is less scary in small doses) Support teachers with training to raise their confidence We can model this in how we interact with our students integrate it as a series of questions or a way to introduce a concept Use stories & theatre to introduce difficult science/ethics questions Discussions informally: student comment that few teachers do as they teach Different things will have varying effects on different students Creating opportunities for students to exchange nationally and globally within existing programs/projects etc. We need to help them internalize by having some kind of active component to take it out of the theoretical. Small to large  contributions to additive (adding content) to transformative (modify structure of curriculum) to social action


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