I've been teaching high school English for 13 years and was recently struck by the idea of teaching as a tool to fight injustice in the world. Although my journalism students discuss this on an almost daily basis, how do I do that as an English teacher? The teaching profession is conducive to training students to fight injustice as they encounter it in life. The question is, how?
Consider this excerpt taken from by Teachers as Intellectuals: Toward a Critical Pedagogy of Learning by Henry Giroux,
" . . .empowering students with the skills and knowledge needed to address injustices and to be critical actors committed to developing a world free of oppression and exploitation."
I'm thinking just this month how I've been teaching students to write narratives since it will be required for college entrance essays and might be on the California High School Exit Exam. I'm realizing I have the wrong idea.
Maybe I should be teaching them to write their narratives as a way to fight injustice. They can tell their stories of injustice to fight injustice. This would give them an authentic, real world problem and would show that telling their story is a way to fight that problem. Now their writing has more value than passing a future test.
Just a thought. Fighting injustice with education is a new idea to me. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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