social justice education is awesome

Bilingual education is part of social justice education. Watch me explicate and share some sweet resources:

Bilingual Education Theory

Bilingual education theory, in  the past 15 years or so, has made increasingly important between academic success and social justice. More concretely – bilingual education research demonstrates that students learn English in ESL contexts more effectively when their heritage language  is respected and utilized. Bilingual education researchers frame this discussion by catergorizing pedagogical approaches as Additive Bilingualism or Subtractive Bilingualism approaches. Subtrative language acquistion and the pedagogical approach attached to it demands replacing (or at least seriously demoting) the first or heritage language. Essentially this often results in negative congnitive outcomes that lead to underdevelopment in both languages. Additive Bilingualism, conversely, encourages the learning of a second language with little pressue to replace or remove the first language. Accordingly, students are able to achieve in both languages.

Apparently, basic principles of respecting folks’ heritage allow for increased academic success (although it’s obvious, it’s nice to have it supported by research).

Anyway – much more to come on bilingual education theory, but don’t miss the important takeaway: treating students as whole people, respecting their heritage and culture is the best way to facilitate academic and social growth.

Social Justice Education Resources:

Teachers for Social Justice. Want political action tools? Check. Want “Planning to Change the World: A Plan Book for Social Justice Teachers?” Want awesome teaching tools like interative maps?  Check.  Want curricular tools that target youth violence? You got it. Be here cause these resources, conferences and opportunities for community building are amazing.

Education for Liberation Network. Peep the ed lib lab where you can find a wealth of inspiring social justice oriented teaching tools and lesson plans.  There’s also a lovely research databas, prime for searching for the latest in social justice education (lots and lots of CBPR research happening here folks!)

New York Collective of Radical Teachers. An amazing collection of resources for teachers for making the classroom a safe and accountable space like the “Beyond Tolerance: A Resource Guide for Addressing LGTBQI Issues in Schools” AND awesome popular education tools and curriculum connected to activism (in Spanish and English)

Suspension Stories. An absolute must read for all who are interested in ending the School to Prision Pipeline.  We all know that discipline in US schools is incredibly racist (and if you don’t know, now you know) and teachers and administrators can use the tools from this project to teach community workshops. The proejct also provides art work and videos that can be used as instructional tools.

Radical Math. For my mathematicians in the struggle. That’s right I said it. Teaching probability? Use a lesson plan here to talk about the probability of selecting an all white Jury for the Jena 6. Have your students use algebra and linear programming to design schools and determine their level of funding. Most importantly use Radical Math’s guide to integrating economic justice into classroom instruction. Do it to it!

Zinn Education Project. This is a clear save the best for last moment. At the Zinn Project you’ll find amazing lesson plans and teaching tools that center on academic achievement,  truth telling and youth empowerment. They also have an whole bilingual section of resources. Si se puede to that!

Anti-Racism Resources:

How to be an anti-racist ally. A really good place to start for folks who want te be allies – an Allies 101 if you will. The links provided are also worth following and reading.

More to come…