In this conference we explore the creation of an inclusive learning environment that welcomes all learners, all educators and all from within the community. The ability of learning to transform the lives of people through opportunity aligns with emphasizing an investment in humanity's future. Every child and every adult, deserves the opportunity to live within a civilized society, with education acting as the instrument of social justice and basis of our culture. Embracing educational excellence also reflects the understanding, engagement and responsiveness around social justice in education.
The conference theme, Social Justice in Education: Celebrating Diversity, Inclusion, and Interculturalism in our Global Society, serves as a call to teacher educators to lead the way towards modeling and celebrating the transformation of lives through a civilized, educated society that embraces understandings around social justice. Reveling in diversity, inclusion and interculturalism is reflected through the following three strands that relate to the conference theme.
Embedded within each strand is the engagement of differentiated understandings around innumerable areas of subject matter expertise, research, and scholarly understandings that clearly articulate and embed teacher education engagement through:
• knowledge base acquisition.
• coursework experiences.
• field-based engagement.
• policy development and influence.
The celebration of each person's gifts, talents, history and experiences from the past, the present and future-leaning understandings highlights the celebration of diversity within the instructional environment as well as a humanist understanding of engagement.
Social justice pedagogy embraces the celebration of diversity, while including the ability to model and actively engage within new understandings that are supported by the community culture. In addition, the potentially transformative power of social justice throughout the educational landscape is an imperative aim for the development of a justice oriented global community. Presenters are encouraged to consider the following, possible questions as guides for proposal development within this strand:
• How are teacher education programs promoting and implementing social justice pedagogy in transformative ways?
• In what ways are programs and candidates grounded in social justice pedagogy challenging or altering inequitable systems?
• How are policy constraints impacting social justice practices being addressed by teacher education?
• What are the societal implications of power and influence upon the educational system?
Maintaining and fulfilling the obligations around inclusion is integrally important towards honoring, understanding, and implementing the tenets of social justice. Moving forward inclusionary understandings and respect around race, gender, religion, socio-economic status, cognitive ability, physical abilities, and experiential engagement are imperative considerations towards welcoming all persons into the educational process. As such, creative instructional practices and spaces highlight the opportunity towards honoring inclusion. Presenters are encouraged to consider the following, possible questions as guides for proposal development within this strand:
• In what ways might inclusion be honored?
• What does "honoring inclusion" look like, within different spaces?
• How do we support anti-oppressive actions?
• What is the understanding of contextualization of principles and ethics in teacher education?
With the recognition of a global society becoming an ever-present concept, the ability to embrace interculturalism is not only appropriate but necessary to the development of citizens of an increasing more globalized society. With physical borders fading, cross-cultural engagement and understanding are vital to the development of a global society grounded in respect, intercultural exchange, and multi-national discourse.
Transformative abilities associated with embracing interculturalism in a global society intersect with the engaged politics of education that hopes for and supports the promotion of social justice in education. As such, presenters are encouraged to consider the following, possible questions as guides for proposal development within this strand:
• What does critically oriented multicultural education and critically oriented intercultural education look like in teacher education?
• How does global citizenship education support interculturalism?
• How can programs of education integrate meaningful intercultural experiences within their curricula?
• How do we navigate resistance to the ideas of interculturalism and the teaching practices that support it?