stephanie jones

Teaching “Occupy Wall Street” and Being Class-Sensitive Pedagogues

In class-sensitive teaching, communities, creativity, critical literacy, economics and economies, social class on October 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm

An important way to be class-sensitive in our teaching is to pay attention to current events around issues of social class and poverty and bring them into the classroom.

If you haven’t already started teaching about the movement of Occupy Wall Street – the protest against economic inequality that started in New York City a month ago and has spread across the world – this is an exciting time to be doing so.
This is also a terrific time to reconsider how things such as “Stock Market” and “Monopoly” games are taught and why they have become such a staple in schools over the past thirty years promoting investment in Wall Street and a focus on “profits” without necessarily considering the consequences of high profits on people, community, and natural resources.
Like all things, there are no simple answers to the issues being illuminated in OWS, but they create amazing material for conversation and continued research in schools and classrooms.
Teaching OWS can integrate reading, writing, history, economics, geography, math, citizens’ rights, politics and the influence of money in political races, community rules, etc. and could be used at any grade level with varying levels of sophistication. (For example, early elementary classrooms might roleplay a “General Assembly” from OWS in their classroom to see its benefits and disadvantages in making decisions for the whole group, or PK and Kindergarteners might like to see how OWS is using the “human microphone” and try it during their outdoor activities).
A wikipedia entry for OWS is live and being revised constantly and offers some fun facts about the movement up to this point:
Happy Teaching!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: