by Don Washington on 2011/11/14
"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people." – Thomas Jefferson.
You could make a credible argument that the reason George W. Bush became President and why people don’t know that demand drives an economy or how Medicare and Medicaid work is because we have about the worst high school civics education ever. Fortunately for Chicago there is an alliance of educators who are absolutely affronted that someone can scream fascist-communist-socialist and still be taken seriously in public discourse, like they are an informed individual not the village idiot. They would be the Teachers for Social Justice (TSJ) and for eleven years they’ve been trying to hold democracy together one classroom at a time.
Saturday Nov. 19th they will be hosting their popular education and movement-building event; the 11th Annual Teaching for Social Curriculum Fair. The Teachers for Social Justice will be creating the foundations for a more just society an educated citizenry, from 10am to 5pm at the Orozco School on 1940 W. 18th St. This year the keynote speaker Mercedes Martinez, a leader in the Puerto Rican Teachers Union, will tell activists about the ongoing struggle against school privatization efforts by the island’s corporate-backed Governor. Teachers from Honduras will also be on hand as part of their national tour. The tour co-sponsored by La Voz de los Abajo and TSJ brings teachers engaged in principled conflict with a right-wing junta, following a violent coup that took place in 2009. Their sharing of what they face and how they face is an indication how much a TSJ event is not just another curriculum fair.
TSJ is committed to its eight core principles; education that is grounded in the lives of their students, rooted in critical thinking, centered on multi-cultural, anti-racist and pro-justice principles and provides students with truly participatory and experiential education. The TSJ believes that education should be joyful, hopeful, visionary and ultimately kind because those are the best qualities of the best activists. A curriculum that is activist creates citizens not consumers and in the world we live in education should be both culturally and linguistically sensitive. Ultimately, in a city where faux reform and corporate-funded millionaires and billionaires it is good to know that someone understands and has a vision of education focused on children and how to make them citizens.
To learn more about Teachers for Social Justice you should visit with them and get dangerously informed on educational issues.