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Blog: Friday, May 20th, 2022

Social Justice Starts from Within

The opportunity to bring the Social Justice 12 course back to Rick Hansen Secondary was an important goal for educator Sandy Gill. Placing students in the centre of their learning is strongly valued by Ms.Gill. Thus, entering the social justice arena, it was imperative that the students learn about equity in an equitable setting. The students were provided opportunities to explore critical topics driven by their inquiry questions.

However, before asking students to analyze the causes and consequences of oppression, and injustices in Canada and globally, Ms. Gill invited them to unpack their identities. Ms. Gill believes that “Focusing on identity is important because our worldviews inform the decisions and beliefs we hold, which help us to understand the complexities and injustices of society.”

Her students also found the environment of inquiry inspiring to their own learning. One student stated: “I used to think that social issues were all things happening outside of myself. Now I think that my personal identity has shaped how I see the world and has impacted what issues I hold close to my heart. In this class, I was given the opportunity to look into myself, and I learned that who I am is an important part of how I think, and this impacts what I choose to do to better the world around me. I learned that my passion for social justice is not just made of external things going on around me, but instead starts from within me and works outwards.”

Ms. Gill challenges the students to be provocateurs and ask critical questions about the world around them. Through research, reflection, collaborative dialogue and constructive debate, the students brought passion and commitment to creating possibilities for social justice. Students leave her classroom with the understanding that every individual has the ability to be a changemaker.

SANDY GILL
Rick Hansen Secondary

JENNIFER OFEIMU
Equity Helping Teacher