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Navigating Social Justice: A Learning Journey Unmasking Inequities and Inspiring Change

This past year our civics learning journey has been an enlightening experience as we delved into the role of the three branches of government: the judiciary, executive, and legislature. Through engaging case studies, we explored how these bodies function and the crucial roles they play in addressing the diverse social issues faced by people. Our discussions and debates allowed us to develop the ability to take a stand while considering multiple perspectives, opinions, and data. This understanding of governing bodies, citizenship, and more set the stage for our exploration of a new theme this year: Social Justice.

To begin our exploration of Social Justice, we initiated an introductory session where learners were encouraged to brainstorm their own definitions of social justice. Their varied understandings were displayed for all to see, enabling them to gain insights into how others perceive and define this concept. We then embarked on an impactful activity called the Privilege Walk, which aimed to highlight the disparities between the privileged and the underprivileged.

Starting from the same point, represented by a horizontal line on the floor, students took steps forward for positive answers and backward for negative answers to a series of questions and statements. These statements included inquiries such as whether their parents attended college, if they felt safe in their neighbourhoods, whether they had access to clean water and nutritious meals, and if they had access to the internet and books outside of school. As the activity progressed, a group of students represented the underprivileged, and by the end, a clear visual gap emerged between the two groups. This exercise provided a tangible representation of how privilege, or the lack thereof, can profoundly impact people's lives. The students experienced a range of emotions as they comprehended the implications of their own privilege and its effect on marginalised individuals.

Through this activity, we achieved two significant learning outcomes. Firstly, learners developed a heightened awareness of their individual identities within society and gained a critical understanding of how these identities are experienced in social contexts. Secondly, they experienced firsthand the advantages and disadvantages faced by others, fostering empathy and a deeper appreciation for the impact of social issues.

By incorporating Edgar Dale's Cone of Experience, which emphasises the importance of direct and purposeful experiences in education, we ensured that our students were engaged in hands-on activities that provided them with a sense of achievement and facilitated meaningful learning.

Our civics learning journey had been a transformative experience, allowing us to explore the role of government and the role of citizens in society. Building upon our understanding of the judiciary, executive, and legislature, we have now embarked on a profound exploration of Social Justice. By encouraging critical thinking, empathy, and an awareness of privilege, we aim to nurture socially conscious individuals who can contribute positively to our ever-evolving world.

Stay tuned for the continuation of this impactful learning journey as we venture further into the exploration of various social injustices. Building upon our understanding of privilege and its impact, we will delve into the depths of inequality, discrimination, and systemic issues that persist in our society. By fostering a deeper understanding of social justice, we aim to empower our students to become advocates for change and champions of equality. Together, let's strive to create a more just and inclusive world for all. So stay with us and join us on this ongoing journey of enlightenment and transformation.


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