MERN Forum Presentation id=428
MERN Forum # 26
Session: 2B
Author: Anne-Marie Rochford
Affiliation: Frontier Collegiate Institute
Title : From equitable education to an equitable society: One step, one student, at a time
Description : The answer to Mr. Reimer’s question posed in the article Equity in Public Education "can we realistically expect that somehow our public schools will bring social justice and economic equity to our society?" is simply, yes.
As a teacher of Aboriginal students, I am concerned with making my ELA curriculum relevant and with preparing them to become active citizens. In order to maintain and improve the authenticity of the curriculum, I explored how the Manitoba ELA program could better serve Aboriginal students through a qualitative research process with 60 high school students in northern Manitoba.
In listening to the voices of these Aboriginal students, my research found that while youth are acutely aware of the inequities they face as individuals and as a culture group and possess a keen desire to change these situations, many have not seen formal education as playing a role in this process.
My research found that by utilizing more experiential activities and providing authentic opportunities for students in which to practice the skills and attitudes for social justice within the framework of the existing curriculum, we can invigorate the process of schooling and ensure that learning outcomes transcend the basic graduation credit requirement and empower young people to take active roles in their communities, in society and work toward social justice.
Equity in education means not only providing culturally appropriate materials and instruction, but also providing and fostering the skills and attitudes necessary for practical application to social justice. Our schools are not neutral institutions and therefore as educators we have a responsibility to prepare students to live in and change their society.
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