Beastie Boys performed a song, Fight for Your Right. Have a listen to the first 1:28, really listening to the words.
You wake up late for school, man you don't want to go You ask you mom, please? but she still says, no! You missed two classes, and no homework But your teacher preaches class like you're some kind of jerk
How can we change unjust power structures that exist in our educational systems? For one, the hidden cognitive curriculum is beginning to finally break down its barriers. Indigenous education via oral history is embedded within curricula. It is a step in the right direction.
Divisions, Universities, and Governments supporting educators with blanket exercises, elder visits, knowledge keepers and FNMI consultants are opening up the opportunities to expand our learning which trickles laterally to the learning of our students.
As an educator in a high school, I want my classroom to be a place where a student wants to be, not a place where they have to be. I want them to make a choice to come to my class. Unlike the above song, I feel that there have been initiatives which take the lecturing or “preaching” away from the teachers and placed the learning into the hands of the students. STEAM/STEM are large initiatives which bridge multiple subjects together showing students just how intertwined all subjects are while they are solving or working on a real-world problem that interests them while becoming globally competent citizens through the practice of Deep Learning (6 C’s). It is up to the educator to initiate STEM/STEAM/GENIUS HOUR in their classes, some are willing to give up control to their students, and others are not at that point yet, and that is okay. It will take time to undo all that has been done in the past.
Other than giving up control in the classroom, I see students as being allowed to be more creative in untraditionally creative subjects such as math and science. The robotic nature of the school in which everyone has to express their answer the same is not so anymore. If a student can solve a physics problem, and arrive at the correct answer, in a different format, why is it wrong? We now allow students to express themselves on exams in a written format, but if they need an oral exam or other adaptations, those are afforded to the student. There is no one right way.
In order to stop the rat race, we need to see change. Yes, the rat race has been created and maintained by people who make the decisions and then supported by those that conform to these decisions. However, with lateral or bottom-up leadership, change takes place and expands our circles. Our inner circle now is our outer circle and we see our students thinking for themselves in areas of education and social justice. It’s about time!