Distinguished Lecturer Presentation brings social justice standards to the classroom

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 at 5:25 PM

How to integrate social justice standards in the classroom, along with key tips to ensuring equality among children, were the chief topics discussed at Edinboro University’s Social Equity Distinguished Lecturer Presentation on Oct. 19 in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center conference room.

Early childhood and reading department associate professor Dr. Karen Lindeman led the presentation, titled “‘That’s Not Fair’: Young Children and Social Justice in Inclusive Early Childhood Classrooms.”

The presentation was geared towards early childhood and reading majors, but was open to faculty, staff and community members. Lindeman used the presentation as an outlet to speak about equality in the classroom and various goals educators should consider when it comes to incorporating social justice standards into their daily classroom life.

“As children are developing, yes, we have to worry about literacy, math and science, but we also want kids to be kind. If you don’t feel accepted, [then] you can’t learn to read and write and do those things.” Lindeman said.

“I see it as almost foundational to have these conversations that will help children be better students and just be better humans.”

Throughout the presentation, Lindeman touched on her own experience in the classroom and expressed the importance of children being secure in their own identities, as well as being aware of diversity.

“The classroom is like real life. You have to live and work with others, and it’s a great place to learn about differences, people who are the same as you, and the ability to notice unfairness and do something about it,” Lindeman said.

Early childhood special education major Jessica Heiser shared that, overall, the lecture “was really focused towards educators and about how to change classes to be more inclusive, more involved and [to] take action to do good.”

Heiser also mentioned one of the topics from the presentation she plans to implement in her future classroom: “I like how she (Lindeman) mentioned how to turn holidays into something that is active, rather than celebrate, bring in candy [or] bring in lots of unnecessary things, but to take action and help a family [or] help a local organization do something. So I think that would be a good inclusion to classroom holidays.” 

While wanting to bring awareness of social justice in the early childhood classroom setting to all who attended, Lindeman expressed how she hopes Edinboro education majors “do know that a child’s social emotional development is just as important as academic standards.”

Macala Leigey can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

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