“Tikkun Olam”-To Repair and Perfect the World: The Importance of Teaching Social Justice Pedagogy

By Finney Cherian.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The behemoth of the standards based curricula movement has rumbled across the landscape of North American education. Against this vast reform background of accountability and one size fits all curriculum, many in the education community are left asking, what are the goals of democratic education in such times? How can educators continue to make space and time to raise social consciousness? Where and how does literacy committed to social critique, justice and action fit in such education reforms? Through personal narratives and reflections of the pedagogical and intellectual relevancy of social justice in pre-service education, the intent of this paper is to address the questions cited above. In confronting such questions the work of teachers and their students is brought closer to the challenge inherent in the Hebrew expression Tikkun olam– to repair and perfect the world.

Keywords: Social Justice, Preservice Teacher Education, Educational Reform

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp.287-294. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 670.880KB).

Dr. Finney Cherian

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Cherian’s research interests are in the area of teacher education, language arts, critical literacy, cultural studies and healthy organizations. His recently published July 2007 article entitled, Learning to Teach: Teacher Candidates Reflect on the Relational, Conceptual, and Contextual Influences of Responsive Mentorship, appears in the Canadian Journal of Education. In addition, Dr. Cherian has recently published three peer reviewed book chapters entitled: (a) “Can You Spare Some Social Change?”: Preparing New Teachers to Teach Social Justice in Times of Educational Reform and Standardized Curriculum. (b) Effective Associate Teacher Mentorship is About Creating Space: Teacher Candidate Perspectives.(c) Placing And Mentoring Student Teachers: Issues, Challenges and New Possibilities. Dr. Cherian holds a PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, The University of Toronto. In 2006 and 2007 Dr. Cherian was nominated by his students and finished as a semi finalist in Ontario’s Best Lecture competition. He currently lives in Windsor with his wife Dr. Sindu Kanjeekal (a medical oncologist) and their two children, Noah and Madeline.

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