Teaching Ethics & Social Justice:
A Continuing Education Seminar for High School Teachers
Today’s global society faces tremendous issues of race, class, culture, gender and sexuality, disability, globalization, privatization, power, and other areas of injustice and inequality. Unfortunately, these issues – which high school students today will be forced to address in coming years – are all too often overlooked in the public school classroom. Distracted by increasingly stringent guidelines dictating specific curricular content, and often motivated by fear of controversy or criticism, many educators today avoid teaching curriculum that addresses issues involving ethics, social justice, and human rights. In order to develop a generation of students able to act in our society as concerned citizens and change-makers in addressing these critical issues, teachers must be the starting point.
To this end, we are developing an ethics and social justice curriculum for high school teachers, which will be offered as a three-hour teacher training and staff development workshop through which participants will receive continuing education credit. These workshops will provide high school teachers with the skills and resources that they need to effectively and productively integrate themes of social justice, human rights, and ethics into course curriculum. Through the exploration of creative ways to infuse these ideas into teaching, we hope to demonstrate that these issues can be addressed in the classroom while still maintaining attention to required grade-level curricular content standards on the one hand and without advocating a particular political position on the other.
The training program operates on the premise that educators are most likely to be successful in integrating anti-bias, multicultural, and social justice content and practices in their classrooms when they have had hands-on experience and training with relevant materials. In addition to content-specific training, the workshop will also provide general instruction to assist educators in dealing with sensitive material in the classroom.
The ultimate goal of social justice training is to show teachers of high school students their own enormous power to bring about change in the young people they teach. By teaching today’s educators to thoughtfully address critical questions in the classroom, we hope that students will in turn develop the convictions and skills to respond responsibly in the world.
For interested educators:
If you are interested in finding lesson plans and resources on human rights, justice, and active citizenship, look no further! The following online resources provide a wealth of resources for educators at all levels.
If you would like to know about being involved in this program, please contact the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-348-6490.