20 February is the annual celebration of the World Day of Social Justice – why not take this opportunity to explore this topic through global learning activities in the classroom?
How can young people find meaningful ways to engage actively in global issues such as poverty and inequality? One of the Global Learning Programme (GLP) aims is to enable teachers to move pupils from a charity mentality to a social justice mentality. Social justice brings together concepts of fairness, equality and human rights. A socially just society is one where everyone has equal opportunities and is treated fairly, irrespective of class, wealth, gender or race. The GLP can support teachers in addressing the topic of social justice through a range of resources and CPD courses on offer:
The GLP social justice page presents a number of resources and background reading to understand social justice as a key issue for global development, for example:
Oxfam Education has put together seven assembly plans to help pupils reflect on justice, diversity and equality.
The Global Dimension website offers a wide range of GLP-approved resources on the theme of social justice.
The Gapminder website https://www.gapminder.org/ can be used to develop critical thinking and find resources on social justice and inequality.
The Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM) have created a resource to help secondary teachers address issues of social justice. This resource includes activities that create understanding of social, cultural, political and economic situations alongside the development of mathematical skills.
ActionAid and SAPERE have developed a resource to help pupils think about fairness, equality and community through the issue of tax avoidance.
Some teachers may find this US site, which advocates social justice strongly, helpful: http://rethinkingschools.org/index.shtml
An Innovation Fund research paper by Jen Simpson (2016) investigates, explores and identifies successful ‘interventions’ to support teachers in a transformative move from a charity mentality to a social justice mentality. It is accompanied by a grid to stimulate discussion, and encourage critical thinking and reflection on your school's approach to teaching and learning about global issues. Download the grid here.
You could also develop this further with the GLP guidance and teaching ideas to help pupils develop their enquiry and critical thinking skills.
Our CPD Calendar offers a wide variety of courses, which you can filter to find CPD that meets your school’s needs.
Why not book on the course delivered by Leeds University Centre for African Studies on 21 February, From Charity to Social Justice: Challenging misconceptions and exploring diversity, which aims to promote a balanced perspective of other people and places based on social justice rather than charity?
Or you could use some of your e-credits* to attend the ‘From Charity to Justice – fair trade, climate change and us’ course by Leeds DEC, which helps schools to teach about social justice in a range of different subject areas.
For flexible courses on critical thinking, CADE (Cornwall Association for Development Education) offers a workshop on promoting critical thinking in the classroom, and Lifeworlds Learning’s How we see the world – critical learning through images will support you in helping pupils develop their critical thinking skills by addressing the influence that images have over our values, attitudes and behaviour. Or you could attend the Introduction to Critical Skills (two twilights) by Little Chatters, to help you apply critical thinking skills to global learning.
*The GLP is funded by the UK government. All schools can join the programme, but funding is only available to Key Stages 2 and 3 in state schools in England.