Friday, October 13, 2006

From Oaxaca to San Francisco - Teaching for Social Justice - Linking our movements

Some 600 progressive teachers will be meeting at San Francisco's Mission High School tomorrow for our 4th annual Teaching for Social Justice conference. Keynote speaker Dr. Asa Hilliard will help us link our individual acts of resistance to the building of broader and longer term social movements to change our schools and communities. See the website for numerous workshops and strategy sessions.
2 caucuses will be meeting during lunch time - one led by my colleague School Board Commissioner Mark Sanchez to establish an Education Not Incarceration chapter in San Francisco; and one that I will lead with Sandra Schwartz of the American Friends Service Committee on strengthening anti-war/social justice work in our SF high schools.
Lastly, many of us will be strategizing too on how we can support the Oaxacan teachers in their struggle for educational justice and a democratic society.
As the Oaxaca situation has hit a stalemate with the standoff in Oaxaca City, solidarity is growing in SF and other parts of the United States. Nancy Davis reports that APPO [the grassroots people's assembly] is moving towards a more permanent status having just completed Thursday their "Democratic Dialogue in Oaxaca", as an alternative to meetings called by the government.

Several days ago Narco News published a great piece by Erwin Slim with some inspiring statements from Oaxacan teachers during their Long March from Oaxaca to Mexico City.

Lastly, I first met Oaxacan activists over 10 years ago when I worked with immigrant rights organizations in the Central Valley. David Bacon in his Znet article - Oaxaca's Dangerous Teachers - links the Oaxacan people to California immigrant workers and the struggles of various indigenous groups in Mexico.
And I recommend another great article which gives deeper political perspective to the demands of the Oaxacan teachers and grassroots communities - see Gerardo Renique's Oaxaca Teacher's Strike Sparks Democracy Movement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park. For my dissertation study, I am planning to research Social Justice Education and how it is manifested in elementary mathematics lessons. Can you put me in touch with teachers who are teaching in such a manner? It would be ideal for me if the classrooms were public school 2nd or 3rd grades although I would appreciate any elementary level.

My plan is to use case studies to illustrate how social justice can be promoted in elementary mathematics lessons. My intent is to observe, as unobtrusively as possible, how such lessons play out and how teachers and students interact with each other, the mathematics and the particular social concern. I will assure anonymity during the research however audio recording and field notes will be necessary during the process.

W McCoy, Doctoral Candidate
University of Maryland, College Park