As I support educators in reminaging their teaching through a social justice lens, one of the most common concerns I hear is about how parents and caregivers will react. If a caregiver questions your rationale...
I am a sociologist. When I tell people that, I’m usually met with blank stares.
Most people don’t really know what that means. And I get it.
But the funny thing is, everyone intuitively understands sociology, even if they don’t realize it.
Sociology is the study of you and me and everyone else, working and living and doing things together. Sociology allows us to examine more closely the types of things we might take for granted in our home, our school, our workplace, our county, our world. Whenever you wonder about why groups of people act the way they do or why some groups have it harder than others, you are doing sociology.
When you learn to think sociologically, when you start to see the world from the “outside-in” you can never turn it off. You will forever be questioning why things are the way they are and wondering how to make things better. That’s the blessing and the curse of the sociological perspective.
Before joining the Mackin Learning team, I taught sociology courses for twelve years. My focus was social inequalities–by race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other social statuses. That means that I spent thousands of hours navigating tough conversations with diverse groups of young people. And I learned a lot about how to have these conversations successfully, in a way that avoids defensive reactions and leads to deep, empathetic understanding.
This experience guides my overarching philosophy. My workshop series details this framework in four main parts:
- Moving Beyond Diversity to Social Justice
- Shifting Our Perspective from the Individual to the Social
- Laying for Groundwork for Tough Topics
- Disrupting the Good/Evil Binary to Move Forward Together
When we apply this framework to your school’s initiatives, goals, and curriculum together, I am confident that you will feel empowered to accomplish whatever lasting transformation you intend to make.