It’s a frequent theme in libertarian and right wing circles (pooh-poohed, of course, by the progressives) that the long march through our institutions is coming to fruition.
This chilling little article in the ‘Guardian’ shows you just how deep the rot goes:
Social justice is a topic ideal for use in the classroom as it touches on a wide range of themes including global citizenship, human rights and sustainable development.
Start by looking at how poverty affects the lives of people in Britain with this article from The Day. Many UK families live in greater luxury than almost anybody in the history of the world, the article states, but a study has shown that one in four families struggle to afford an “acceptable” quality of life. This resource, which is suitable for upper primary and secondary students, asks your class to consider how and why.
And you can bet teacher will be ready to tell them, eh?
The issue of child poverty is covered in this lesson created by the charity CSV. Adaptable for use at all levels, it begins with broad questions including “what is poverty?” and “how should we define poverty?” before encouraging pupils to plan ways of raising awareness of poverty. The resource includes a number of case studies and a true or false quiz about poverty.
Oxfam has a wide range of lessons about social justice including an assembly presentation called What Does Oxfam Do?
Designed for secondary pupils, the resource looks at how Oxfam works with partners to help lift people out of poverty. It explores the different elements of Oxfam’s work around emergencies, development and campaigning, and it considers what young people can do to help make a difference.
And that’s not all…
Other resources include Food for Thought, which looks at social justice in the context of the global food system, and Change the World in Eight Steps, a fact sheet that provides background on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) along with a brief overview of what needs to be done to achieve the goals by 2015.
The MDG of improving maternal health is examined in the maths lesson Dying to Give Birth from Amnesty International. The aim is to develop students’ skills in interpreting and representing statistical information through exploration of maternal mortality. Students are shown a five-minute video introducing them to the problem of women dying from childbirth in Sierra Leone. They explore the issue further by analysing a scatter diagram, which compares maternal mortality rates and per capita incomes in countries across the world. Students then create an infographic looking at infant mortality and its link to income levels.
And it goes on…
Other social justice-themed resources from Amnesty include a role play activity about refugees and asylum, a lesson plan about the death penalty, and tips on teaching citizenship through human rights.
For information about the United Nations, why it exists and what it does, check out a series of lessons for secondary schools called United Nations Matters. Topics covered include: the aims of the UN, the role of the UN Security Council, the importance of the MDGs in tackling poverty, and the work of the UN in protecting human rights. The resource, created by the United Nations Association UK, is accompanied by a teachers’ pack.
As a homework task, ask students to create a poster or leaflet about the World Day for Social Justice. Can they name any other special days that the UN holds to raise awareness of its work and achievements? They include the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty which is covered in this assembly by TrueTube.
Worried yet? You should be…