Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Educating Educators for "Social Justice"

A very unusual, even bizarre, teachers conference called the Fifth Annual Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice took place in October this year at a high school in Portland, Oregon. It was organized by a group in Washington State and Oregon called Social Equity Educators, which is associated with National Education Association union. The conference featured all the favorite liberal buzzwords including race, class, white privilege, oppression, alternative lifestyles, and identity, plus teaching about methods to encourage, train and promote students to become activists.

One workshop that was supposed to be about English Literature focused on "the application of various critical theories (such as postcolonial, feminist, Marxist, and gay-lesbian)." The course description says that those "theories can be applied to any text and provide[s] students how to connect with literature "more deeply, and develop intellectual political autonomy." Another workshop called "Coal, Climate, and the World" was based on the premise that "Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet." Two conference workshops addressed non-traditional sexual lifestyles. "Gender and Sexuality 101" was a workshop "to help educators develop an awareness of the issues facing lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and Asexual people in schools."

A major goal of this conference was to educate teachers, who are considered to be persons of privilege, and how to recognize the ways that "oppression affects the lives of students marginalized by race, class, language, gender, and sexual orientation." Several other workshops were planned to encourage student political activism and to train them "to design and implement effective action plans to build a movement and change the world."

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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