All teachers in training in NSW have to cover a unit on social justice. Like me, they are being taught to be conscious of issues such as race, ethnicity and multiculturalism, gender and sexuality, bias in the curriculum, class, the city/country divide, indigenous issues in education, globalisation, ethics and critical thinking.
We are directed to videos such as this one, which challenges what education is all about.
I’ve noticed teacher, Phil Beadle, who was named Secondary School Teacher of the Year in the UK in 2004 (before becoming a teacher he was a rock musician). He was shown on a reality tv series called The Unteachables, and now writes and speaks about teaching. Everything he says about how to teach (eg, every child has something to offer, you need to get to know what the kids are interested in and tailor the lesson to their interests etc) is what we are being taught. He is, I think, not the exception, but the standard. At least in NSW education training. And he says he teaches for social justice.
Pretty reassuring, isn’t it. That all teachers are covering education in terms of social justice.
And lots of what we cover can also be applied to issues in motherhood studies. Neat.