The uphill battle for social justice teaching in schools

Just a caveat:
my school has a whole department devoted to teaching social justice. They go crazy trying to overcome just what you describe. Remember, while there may be some tprs teachers who are not Liberals, most have to be liberal, otherwise they would be doing grammar/translation. So many on this List will be with you. But don’t forget that a lot of your colleagues will be undermining your efforts. We experienced that at both schools I’ve taught at. It is a long, uphill battle, esp when the parents are against you. You are, by practicing tprs, going against the entire edifice of authority, tradition, and control represented by so-called bottom-up and transmission models of teaching.

Simply by teaching via tprs, you are undermining that entire edifice and threatening the reliance on linear, other-oriented thinking that underlies stereotyping and the smear tactics against whole groups of people. Once a student realizes he doesn’t depend on his teacher to create a sentence in L2, he goes on to realize he can draw his own lessons from history, literature, science, etc. Hell, he even learns he can create his own story of himself, jettisoning those ascribed characteristics others would apply to him: jock, nerd, dummie, cheerleader, shlub, cowboy, etc.

And remember, you have a whole lot of teachers fighting the same fight you are.

This was in response to a post from a teacher concerned about her ability to reach kids who seem so vicious in their response to specific groups of people.

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