The practice of teaching holds very high position in everyone’s heart and mind globally. Teaching is a noble profession, and everyone learns the best of life from teachers since a very early age. Teaching not only involves the set curriculum of the particular area or university but also the general methods of the society. Sociology includes the study about the functioning of the society and thus everyone studies some part of it here or there mentions Rojas (2017). Inculcating sociology in the teaching practice is important to prepare the minds of children for the tomorrow. The methods of teaching have seen tremendous growth from the ancient ages to the modern times. In the times of internet, anyone can be taught from anywhere and in a very interesting manner. This advantage of global communication has been used widely by teachers all around.
It is important to implement social justice perspectives in the teaching practice as the children of today are the future of tomorrow. Thus, they should be well-versed with the facts of the society they live in. social justice refers to the availability of the same resources to everyone irrespective of their background. No one should be differentiated just because they lack something. The children who study together in a good school may not be aware of the difficulties that many people face in the society. They might not get aware of these problems for a very long time. Thus, to keep the future of the country in safe hands, it becomes important to impart the knowledge about social justice to all the children states Sharma (2018).
I personally wander off to this topic whenever I am teaching my students anything about daily life and routine. Social injustice has a very long history, though the situation is better in recent times. There is still a need to give the children perspective about social injustice as they need to help the society be a better place to live in. The students generally are in a very protected environment and thus they need to know the harsh reality of the society. Social justice is a phenomenon and I feel that each and every student has the right to know about all the aspects of our society. Hence, they need to be introduced to the social justice perspectives.
Many sociological theories have helped the societies, relationships and social behaviors emerge like they are today. One such theory is the Conflict Theory which emerged through the works of Karl Max. He was the one who witnessed the society when it was fighting for the social and economic resources states Prior-Miller (2017). According to this theory, the purpose of education is to keep the power of society in those who dominate the society. Another theory is the Functionalist Theory that is focused on the ways in which education can be provided to each and every one universally mentions Taylor (2020). This theory works to impart the basic knowledge and skills to the next generation. Another theory is the Symbolic Interactionist Theory in which the analyst directly observes the students in the classroom. This theory states that the students who sit nearer to the teacher perform better in their studies rather than the students who sit at the back or far away from the teacher.
According to the sociological theories described above, the best theory would be the Functionalist Theory which does not differentiate between the different people of the society and just aims to impart knowledge to the next generation. This theory along with some help from Symbolic Interactionist Theory would be the best suited to help the students learn the social justice policies and apply them as and when required. There are many theories through which the students could be influenced. The teacher just needs to decide the theory according to the circumstances.
Equity and diversity are important parts of education that need to be addressed. One of the most basic and best way to do this would be self-awareness. As a teacher, I need to self-aware if a want to impart the knowledge of equity and diversity to my students. Thus, I would first educate myself how the different facts like race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status influences the people. I would first acknowledge my personal bias towards any of these factors before teaching my students. Then another important way to promote equity and diversity in teaching would be start the same phenomenon in the classroom says Matuk (2019). I would promote equality of expression in my class as mentioned by Januszyk (2016). I would ask my students to be respectful towards each other and help each other. Any negative thought or action would be immediately discussed and corrected.
I would also take care that I develop culturally relevant teaching in my classroom. The students from all types of culture would be promoted for all types of activity. No culture would be extra or less preference than the other and thus the students would learn from the example I set for them. I would also plan some conversations purposefully that discuss about the difficult but important topics. This would allow me to observe what the students think and help them come terms with the right and wrong of the situation.
To conclude I would like to say that a teacher has great influence on the life of his or her students. Social justice is a topic that every teacher teaches her students in one way or the other. A teacher not only teaches her subject to the students but also makes an impact of their daily life and thoughts. In my personal experience, a student learns from every action of his or her teacher and thus the teachers have great responsibility towards students. Different sociological theories could be used to help the students learn the importance of social justice, equity and diversity. As a teacher, I feel great to have done my part for the society.
Januszyk, R., Miller, E. C., & Lee, O. (2016). Addressing student diversity and equity. Science Scope, 39(8), 16.
Matuk, C., Hurwich, T., Spiegel, A., & Diamond, J. (2019). How do teachers use comics to promote engagement, equity, and diversity in science classrooms? Research in Science Education, 1-48.
Prior-Miller, M. (2017). Four major social scientific theories and their value to the public relations researcher. In Public relations theory (pp. 67-81). Routledge.
Rojas, L., & Liou, D. D. (2017). Social justice teaching through the sympathetic touch of caring and high expectations for students of color. Journal of Teacher Education, 68(1), 28-40.
Sharma, M., & Cobb, C. (2018). Exploring Co-Teaching with a Social Justice Perspective: A Conceptual Study. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 29(1), 153-176.
Taylor, M. J. (2020). The Concept of Functional Differentiation and the Logic of Comparative Functionalism: A Study in Sociological Theory (Doctoral dissertation).
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