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“Get Up, Stand Up": Fighting Systemic Injustice Through Teaching is a Course

“Get Up, Stand Up": Fighting Systemic Injustice Through Teaching

Started Jul 19, 2020

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Full course description

Sunday, July 19, 2020, 3:00 p.m. EST 

Presenter: Deborah Loewenberg Ball 


The last few months have put in sharp and painful relief the deep inequalities embedded in the basic structures of our society as Black and Brown people and communities disproportionately suffer the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. These inequalities spread across health care, housing, income and wealth, employment, transportation, and, of course, education. 

As schools, teachers, teacher educators and leaders, and teacher education and professional development programs scramble to provide continuing education to children and teachers, the power of skillful teaching and the crucial role we educators have in the struggle for justice is even clearer. Teaching is a contingent practice that demands thoughtful and skilled adaptation. It involves sensitivity to context, to communities, and requires deep understanding of learning, and flexible knowledge of the content that affords critical power to learners. 

This keynote will shine a light on the superpowers we have to use our teaching as a force to disrupt injustice and the important ways we can support one another to keep honing our ability to use our powers for good. We will consider specific areas of our work that are more important than ever for us to improve and develop. 

  • What tools do we need to connect with families and communities to support children’s learning? 

  • What content choices and learning goals are best suited for particular settings, approaches, times, and how do we justify and explain those goals with care? 

  • How can we be constantly vigilant to the harmful reinforcement of inequities and oppression through “normal” practice, whether inside classrooms or in online environments, and nimble at averting and disrupting these patterns? 


This work is imperative both now and going forward, in the society revealed anew to us––with all its injustices and all its possibilities.