York Summer Institute addesses social justice and equity in education

Weeklong courses set for June 18-23
York Summer Institute

Educators can take advantage of weeklong graduate course this summer, Social Justice and Equity in Education, set for June 19-23 at Penn State York.  This course is designed to help prepare teachers, and others in related fields, to employ a culturally responsive lens by exploring social justice and equity across the curriculum.  Kathy Roy, associate professor of literacy education at Penn State Harrisburg and coordinator of the literary education program, is the course instructor.   The course features 10 breakout sessions and five nationally-known keynote speakers and presenters.

Credit: Dave McLaughlin

Social Justice and Equity in Education, a weeklong course designed for education professionals, diversity specialists, guidance counselors, social workers, and more, is set for June 19-23 at Penn State York.  Penn State York’s Summer Institute 2017 features Laura Roy, associate professor of literacy education at Penn State Harrisburg, and addresses the difficult subject of social justice in the classroom.   Registrations are still being accepted for this three-credit graduate course that meets from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.

“Every day, every teacher makes multiple decisions that impact social justice and equity in their classroom, school and thus the community-at-large. Every student comes with their own story, beliefs, values and ideas. The summer institute at Penn State offers educators the research and strategies to support and expand educational practices that connect students and maximize the learning experience,” said Francine Baker, coordinator of the master of education in Teaching and Curriculum at Penn State York. “This course offers instruction and mentorship connected to the Pennsylvania learning standards, literacy, and cross-curricular content from five nationwide keynote speakers and more than ten breakout session presenters.  Educators will design activities to directly embed in their curricular area, classroom and school, while earning three graduate credits or Act 48 hours,” Baker said.

Social Justice and Education (EDUC 497) helps prepare teachers to employ a culturally responsive lens by exploring social justice and equity across the curriculum.  All keynote speakers and presenters will provide information and resources connecting their topic directly to standards and assessments.

As part of the program, to celebrate community and diversity, local artists have been invited to share their perspectives on art in education.

Course instructor, Kathy Roy will help participants achieve course objectives which  include reflecting on personal and professional experiences with race, culture, language and other identities through writing and discussion; interrogating and dispelling deficit views and myths of marginalized student populations; exploring ways to promote and incorporate multiple perspectives in the classroom, schools and communities; designing and proposing curriculum and instruction that privileges culturally responsive and social pedagogies; and more.

How do we meet the needs of diverse student populations? How does a focus on equity and social justice contribute to student achievement and align with standards? In what ways can our students, teachers, and administrators benefit from culturally responsive approaches? This one-week course is designed to address these questions and more.

“Rather than a traditional course format, nationally-renowned educators and scholars will provide keynotes and workshops to help educators re-frame their curriculum, teaching, and leadership to meet the needs of diverse students and families,” said Roy. “The primary course assignment engages educators in an initial needs assessment and proposal for making tangible and realistic change starting Day 1 of the school year.”

Roy’s research examines the classroom and community experiences of new and existing refugee and immigrant populations in the U.S., focusing particularly on the intersections of race, culture, language, and other markers of identity. She is particularly interested in the discursive practices in the classroom that help and/or hinder students’ success in language learning contexts. She has published in journals such as the “Harvard Educational Review” and “Urban Review.”

Both her teaching and research are grounded in social justice frameworks, advocating for equitable learning opportunities for all students. Roy serves as a Division G, section co-chair for the American Educational Research Association and as a reviewer for journals such as “Multicultural Perspectives” and the “Journal of Teacher Education.”

The text for the course is, “Is Everyone Really Equal?  An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education,” by Ozlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo.  Additional course readings will be based on each participant’s area of interest, age/grade level, and content area.

For more information on the summer literacy institute, visit the website, or contact Francine Baker at 717-771-8413 or email her at [email protected].  Also check out Penn State York’s summer technology course, Technology for the Connected Learner, set for July 17-21, featuring Aly Kenee.

Learn more about the master of education in Teaching and Curriculum offered at Penn State York, offered through a partnership with Penn State Harrisburg, by visiting the master of education website.