Center for Anti-Oppressive Education



International Conference on Teacher Education




International Conference on Teacher Education and Social Justice


Opening Plenary | Breakout #1 | Breakout #2 | Performance

Opening Plenary Session

Preparing Teachers for Anti-Oppressive Education: International Movements

Educators and activists from around the world discuss initiatives taking place in various countries to address issues of social justice in teacher education. Confirmed speakers include:

Sikunder Baber, Senior Instructor, Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development, Pakistan, and Chair, Mathematics Association of Pakistan. Baber's research and teaching focus on such areas as teaching mathematics for critical citizenship.

Inés Dussel, Director, Education Research Unit, Latin American School for the Social Sciences (FLACSO), Argentina. Dussel has authored books and articles on the history of education in Argentina, the history of the regulation of bodies in schools, histories of curriculum, and contemporary educational theories.

Will Letts, Lecturer, Charles Sturt University, and Chair, School of Teacher Education Reseach and Development Committee, Australia. Letts researches and teaches on science, gender, sexuality, and Aboriginal studies, and is co-editor of Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue about Sexualities and Schooling.

Eric Richardson, Lecturer, College of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Richardson's research, teaching, and service focus on such areas as English education, sports, gender equity, and reducing homophobia.

Carol Ricker-Wilson, English/Literacy Consultant, Toronto District School Board, and Course Director, Faculty of Education, York University, Canada. Ricker-Wilson has taught in various free and alternative schools in Toronto, researches critical pedagogical practice, and has published in English Journal.

Pia Lindquist Wong, Project Director, Equity Network, and Associate Professor, Bilingual/Multicultural Education Department, California State University, Sacramento, U.S.A. Wong researches and has served as a consultant on educational reforms in Brasil, and is a member of the International Advisory Committee for the Instituto Paulo Freire.

Breakout Session #1

Profiling, Discrimination, and Hate Against Arab and Muslim Americans

In this workshop we will review the current status of hate crimes and discrimination that is being directed against Arab and Muslim Americans. Strategies for managing stereotyping, discrimination, and hate crimes will be discussed. We will also provide a short primer on cultural competence for working with Arab and Muslim Americans.

Jess Ghannam, University of California, San Francisco, and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee-San Francisco.

"For Those Who Dare to Teach": Teacher Education for Social Justice and Educational Equity

In our presentation we will provide an overview of and present candidate work related to courses for pre-service and in-service educators that are organized around Paulo Freire's ideas of education for liberation and other constructs of critical pedagogy and multicultural education. We will also describe teacher education programs that focus on social reconstruction through classroom action and on accessing community funds of knowledge as resources for curriculum transformation and parent organizing.

Pia Wong, California State University, Sacramento.

Margarita Berta-Avila, California State University, Sacramento.

Lorie Hammond, California State University, Sacramento.

You have Lenses: Three Experiential Activities Designed to Help Students See from the Perspective of Others

Each of the three presenters will engage participants in an activity she uses with students to help them understand how they see the world through a particular set of lenses that are often invisible to them. These activities help students recognize and refocus their lenses, particularly those related to the influence of their own social identities based in their race, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc.

Ann Berlak, San Francisco State University.

Nancy Schniedewind, State University of New York, New Paltz.

Rachel Martin, California Institute of Integral Studies.

Algebra for All? Using Mediated Learning to Help All Students Succeed

In this session, we examine the mathematics, pedagogy, and philosophy behind an approach that supports students with special needs and students in alternative schools to succeed in learning Algebra. This approach is consistent with NCTM standards and draws on the work of Lev Vygotsky, Reuven Feuerstein, and Paulo Freire, for whom the heart of mediated learning is interaction with students.

Judi Hirsch, Oakland School District.

Chicana/Latina Parents on the Frontlines for Socially Just Education

Chicana/Latina parent leaders employ interactive teatro, literature, and cultural elements to demonstrate how they are fighting racism, sexism, and homophobia in their school communities. We will report on research regarding the women's activation of their collective cultural capital that has important implications for teacher educators.

Rosa Furumoto, California State University, Northridge.

Consuelo Martin, Parent Pioneers, Inc.

Teresa Hernandez, Parent Pioneers, Inc.

Backlash against Academic Freedom

How do educators balance social justice agendas with demands that teaching be "neutral" and "balanced"? This workshop addresses the climate of academic freedom, recent incidents of educators being silenced and suspended for expressing political views, and how educators can engage students in dialogue about issues such as war, foreign policy, and democracy in times of heightened nationalism.

Megan Boler, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Breakout Session #2

Out of the Classroom and Into the Community: The Promotion of Social Justice in an Urban MPH Program (panel)

This student panel is devoted to distilling and outlining various ways that social justice principles are conceptualized and taught in an urban Masters in Public Health program. It examines how social justice concepts are put into action to become best practices in community health education in an effort to promote wellness.

John P. Elia, San Francisco State University (moderator).

Carrie Brogoitti, San Francisco State University.

Amanda Goldberg, San Francisco State University.

Kim Nguyen, San Francisco State University.

Julia Rinaldi, San Francisco State University.

Catherine Swanson, San Francisco State University.

Nathaniel VerGow, San Francisco State University.

Models for Professional Development (two workshops)

Teacher Empowerment in High-Need Schools: Do These Teachers Have a Chance to Make a Difference in Their World?

This session shares the results of a study that examined the characteristics of elementary school teacher teams learning together about curriculum design, new teaching practices, and how they implement the new knowledge in their classrooms. Particular attention is paid to what teachers learned in collaboration with their colleagues.

Anne Mungai, Adelphi University.

School Professionals and Teacher Educators Explore Practices that Reflect the Principles of Social Justice and Equity

Participants will explore a professional development model for building a network of school professionals and teacher educators committed to teach toward social justice. Discussion will engage participants in dialogue about three phases of personal and professional development that promote principles of social justice and equity.

Deborah Black, Keene State College.

Susan Theberge, Keene State College.

Video Documentaries that Challenge Homophobia (two workshops)

"Honor Thy Children": How One Family's Story Can Move Us All

This video documents the experiences of the Nakatanis, a Japanese American family that, only a decade ago, lost all three sons (two to AIDS-related illness, one to murder). Intertwined with stories of internalized racism and homophobia are stories of love, family honor, and dignity. Simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring, "Honor Thy Children" is a powerful tool for challenging all forms of human denigration among both young students and educators.

Jolynn Asato, University of California, Los Angeles.

Disruptive Pedagogies: How Teacher Educators Disrupt Homophobia

This session presents a 30-minute documentary on how three teacher educators disrupt homophobic and heteronormative actions and attitudes in K-12 schools and teacher education classes. The session will offer participants an opportunity to hear how the teacher educators use disruptive pedagogies and how they make sense of their pedagogical efforts.

Anne Rene Elsbree, California State University, Chico.

Using Drama and Simulations (two workshops)

No More Teachers, No More Books: Global (In)access(ability) to Education Simulation

This interactive session will explore the inequitable distribution of educational resources within the global community. Participants will be provided with the opportunity to engage in a simple but evocative "simulation" activity which will facilitate investigation into this important global issue.

David Darts, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Transformation through Imagination: Process Drama as a Liberatory Pedagogy

This session will begin with a brief discussion of classroom practices which disempower students. Participants will then engage in a process drama experience which explores issues of power, control, and decision-making. We will conclude with an analysis of the participants' experiences.

Mary Kathleen Barnes, Ohio State University, Marion.

Social Studies and Social Awareness (two workshops)

Self, History, and Dissonance: Parallel Processes in a Social Studies Curriculum Class

What is history and who makes history? This session models a constructivist approach in a social studies methods class that fosters the development of empathy and perspective taking. Student teachers begin with "self," i.e., their own life experience and social studies/history classes. As they conduct research, they "go beyond self" in creating their units with the sense of responsibility that a widening perspective demands.

Nancy Dulberg, Saint Mary's College.

Thea Maestre, Holy Names College.

Hypnotic Docility Versus Meditative Disobedience

A significantly oppressive aspect of education is hegemony. Students of all ages, even those in graduate school, have no clue as to the truths that surround U.S. policies and practices. In the spirit of the greatest reforms and educators, it is time to study what Zinn has referred to as "The Lies My Teacher Told Me" and then to follow up with authentic, non-violent, civil disobedience before it is too late. Actual classroom examples of student responses to this approach will be shared in this brief, interactive workshop.

Don Trent Jacobs, Northern Arizona University and Fielding Graduate Institute.

Social Critique, Social Action in English Classes (two workshops)

Using Narrative to Open Up Texts

A crash course in using questions from current literary theory to critically examine issues of power, identity, and value in texts.

Carol Ricker-Wilson, York University, Canada.

Stirring Up Justice: Adolescents Reading, Writing, and Changing the World

This presentation will share the collaborative work of an English teacher and an Education professor at an urban high school in Oregon where students learned to ask critical questions, support one another, and work toward social change. We choreographed curriculum and teaching around one central theme, social activism, as we asked, What strategies for literacy instruction help students from different backgrounds expand their reading and writing abilities?

Jessie Singer, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Ruth Shagoury Hubbard, Lewis & Clark College

Performance: Teaching through Music

This performance and mini-workshop offers a sampling of the resources developed by the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education. Blending music, cultural histories, and personal stories, this interactive performance invites participants to explore multiple ways to address social differences and oppression in the classroom, especially ways that make productive use of uncertainty, discomfort, and a troubling song from Hawai'i.

Kevin K. Kumashiro, Center for Anti-Oppressive Education.