In the following section we consider more of the practicalities of social justice in classrooms.
The following presentation raises some key social justice issues and also summarises some of the challenges and opportunities faced by teachers in the GeoCapabilities 3 project. It concludes by considering the powerful pedagogies necessary for a more socially just geography classroom.
GeoCapabilities: Social justice in classrooms
As you watch it you might like to ask yourself and/or discuss with your colleagues:
- In what ways is the teaching profession in my school/academic institution diverse in terms of the people it employs? What kinds of roles do people from different ethnic, social and cultural groups fulfil – is there a distinct hierarchy?
- In what ways does the teaching workforce represent/reflect the student body in my school?
- How much agency can I exert over the curriculum I teach?
- What kinds of geographies are embedded in the curriculum I teach? In what ways are matters of power and inequalities discussed and examined in the planned geography curriculum for my school? How are different groups represented and what might be the consequence of such representations for students’ geographical understanding?
- What kind of pedagogical strategies do I use on my geography classrooms that enable my students to ask geographical questions and pursue geographical methodologies? Do I enable students to develop more complex and multiple ways of thinking and knowing through the geography and the pedagogies I teach?
- How do I ensure a culture of engagement and curiosity in my geography classrooms? Am I helping my students to build a sense of their own agency through my geography teaching?
- In what ways is my classroom a place that models social justice practice – are all students made to feel welcome? Do I value the contribution they bring to school from home and their communities? If so, how?
If you want to better understand the diversity in the teaching workforce, the following resource form the European Union might be of use and interest:
And if you are interested in reading more about powerful pedagogies then you could access Margaret Roberts’ article:
Roberts, M. (2014) Powerful Knowledge and School Geography. The Curriculum Journal, 25(2): 187-209, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09585176.2014.894481?casa_token=HyEsLTjDwN4AAAAA%3AR_qrI5VNdQmM8FYHSVglGiRwcbfHSNRPRXX9wl4F-ePCDUxhPws4engHLtRR2PTRMjYEj8cHSwvd