Educators have a responsibility to use tech and social media to promote social justice. This was the debate that I was most torn by. I feel really strongly about how important it is to teach social justice to children. I also believe that by remaining silent about social justice issues then you are supporting the injustice.
In Is Political Neutrality in Classrooms Actually Neutral? lead researcher Alyssa Dunn states it isn’t possible for teachers to stay neutral because it creates the opposite effect of being neutral by “choosing to maintain the status quo and further marginalizing certain groups.” But it is hard for teachers to share their opinions because they are afraid of backlash from parents.
It is important that teachers teach social justice. Sonia Nieto in Teaching as Political Work: Learning from Courageous and Caring Teachers defines ” social justice as both a philosophy and actions that embody treating all people with fairness, respect, dignity, and generosity.” Nieto states how there are four components of social justice in education.
- it challenges, confronts, and disrupts misconceptions, untruths, and stereotypes that lead to structural inequality and discrimination based on race, social class, gender, and other social and human differences
- provides all students with the resources necessary to learn to their full potential, this includes material and emotional resources
- draw on the talents and strengths that students bring to their education, this includes their languages, cultures and experiences
- create a learning environment that promotes critical thinking and supports agency for social change
It is apparent that social justice issues do need to be taught in the classroom, but do tech and social media need to be used to do that? Using social media to teach about social justice is scary. It is guaranteed that parents from a teacher’s classroom will have a wide range of views. In today’s cancellation culture, will posting about a political or polarizing view cause a huge backlash? Will parents push for a teacher to be fired if they don’t agree with their views? Then the question becomes for teachers, are they willing to fight for the stance they have chosen. I don’t feel this is fair to teachers. It is important to teach social justice issues to children, but social media or tech does not need to be used to do that.