Social Activism in the Classroom
Can a school be a force for change? If social activism has a place in education, can it be threaded into the curriculum?
“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable (William Pollard)”.
With that said, although the idea of forcing a school to change sounds imposing and perhaps “undemocratic collectivism”, change is always necessary in order to grow and improve within the education field. However, we disagree with promoting personal agendas to impressionable minds. Parental involvement is crucial at this point.
The integration of technology, initially and even currently, was very difficult at first stance due to the dramatic change from the old and effective way to the new way, and the obvious availability of information, including opinions disguised as facts.
Social Activism and Technology
The change from blackboard to Smart and Interactive boards was and still very difficult for numerous educators.
However, it is very clear that the new board offer an array of benefits for both teacher and students. With that said, social activism offers a different perspective on the field of education that cannot be ignored.
Wayne Urban as an expert educator argues that the controlling elite imposes its rule and expands their controlling ideas through the curriculum in the schools (Gutek P. 390).
Social Activism and the status quo
Therefore, as educators and promoters of knowledge, we should be able to adapt and break the social and educational status quo, without implementing far-left ideals, and undermining the parental role.
As part of the education change, educators should promote the use of technology by their students.
Thus, “…the students should study the meaning, processes, and functions of technology as part of the school curriculum (Gutek P.394)”. So that students can find enlightenment on their own.
Reconstructivism emphasizes the integration of technology in the general curriculum development as a gateway of information for the students (Gutek P. 395). Without indoctrination. For example, Twitter, Facebook, and others have amassed so much influence, that without parental involvement, and effective teaching, students can find themselves being part of mass indoctrination.
Reconstructivism explains that change in the education system, implementation of technology among other factors, may reduce or eradicate the current “cultural lag” that exists.
Ultimately, change is, perhaps, the most necessary factor for any educator as technology and the world move forward at a very fast past. Yet even when change offers many benefits, schools should move at their own independent pace, and always respect the beliefs, and culture of parents.
Gutek, G. L. (2014). Philosophical, Ideological, and Theoretical, Perspectives on Education. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.