Monday, January 16, 2017

Equity and Social Justice


Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January, celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically." 

We decided to discuss social justice and how educators encourage equity and provide every learner a safe, caring  environment. The conversations were deep and heartfelt from so many educators from around the world. The big question around equity and social justice was:

 "How can learners develop the skills necessary to foster a better society?"


We used the Q1, A1 format with the following questions:

The questions encouraged participants to push the conversations deeper. We found ourselves wanting to reply or retweet many of the responses to the questions. First few questions were on classroom culture and activities teachers can provide that encourages a safe learning environment and then we delved deeper into discussions on issues that affect them, bullying, and turning social justice into community service.

Renee White @RaRaPenguin

"By finding a way as role model in classroom to afford each learner the same fair opportunity. Make playing field as level as can."


Caroline Wray @wray_cj

"First defining equity is a must. I think the classroom must focus on creating a learner led culture."


Rachel Salvatore @RachSal44

"Build relationships and provide safe spaces for our learners; let them know they are valued, cared for and respected."


Jeremy Bond @JeremyDBond 

"Take responsibility for building relationships with families and the community. Build your schools as community centers."


Mark Levine @LevineWrites

"We use authentic inquiry to learn history. Then we examine their world and make decisions on social justice today."


Lynn Spady @lynnspady

"I have found current events on @Newsela to be a great starting point. Learners pick the articles that they find interesting."


sbuhner @sbuhner

"Social justice should be embedded in units. History is a great place to start especially if connected to history of community. #authenticlessons"


Kathy Renfrew @KRScienceLady

"Digging deeper, Learning as an educator, bringing equity conversations to the forefront of the work with colleagues."


Mrs. Cheri Authement @mrsa_sci

"Discuss with class how to handle group work issues. Use humor in moments where students 'caught' to model how to talk it out if appropriate."


Meredith Johnson @mjjohnson1216

"Important to include different ethnic groups in order for more students to feel engaged in the conversation." 


Paul O'Neill @PaulONeill1972

"By removing artificial boundaries like classroom walls and schedules. Create situations where we can all learn together."

Todd Russo @MrRussoRH

"Ask students what they want to discuss and how. I always liked having students thinking and writing first, then talking with others."


Barbara Gruener @BarbaraGruener

"Encourage students to walk in another's shoes; perspective-taking #empathy is a great catalyst for mobilizing #compassion, #growth."


Michael Vose @KHS_AP

"True acceptance of diversity means accepting those with opinions and lifestyles contrary to our own. Hard message these days."





We tried to include at least one tweet from everyone who joined us. But the topic seemed to resonate with many educators some new to #plearnchat. There were so many great ideas that we had to choose just a few. Make sure you read the archive below so you don't miss any of the tweets and resources shared.



Congratulations to Lemarr Treadwell M.Ed @lemarrtreadwell who won our book, How to Personalize Learning.


Lemarr Treadwell @leamarrtreadwell is a 4th grade teacher at Pyle Elementary School in Fresno Unified School District in California. He facilitates the use of technology in a 1:1 Asus classroom, a MIE Trainer, and a Flipgrid Ambassador. Lemarr believes in building his Personal Learning Network (PLN) and is active in many Twitter chats. Here's a few of the tweets and a chart from Lemarr during #plearnchat:

"Teach students to "Stand Up" for what they feel is unjust. 
We provide the authentic resources and learning connections."

"Relevancy: Meaningful Work + Authentic Resources + Learning Connections = Equity
Add: Universal Learning Design (UDL)"





How to Personalize Learning is your practical guide to getting started and going deeper with personalized learning. Corwin has offered our followers a 20% discount code. Go to Corwin Press and use the discount code N169O6 for your own copy.




Save the Date, Monday, February 13th (4 weeks) for our next #plearnchat

4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, and 7pm EST

Topic: Digital Literacy



We archived the entire #plearnchat about Equity and Social Justice below for your convenience and as a resource.