Jul 1, 2021

2021 Global Teacher Seminar: “Global Protests and Social Justice Activism” informs and empowers teachers

On June 18, 13 educators completed the 2021 Global Teacher Seminar: “Global Protests and Social Justice Activism,” empowering the teachers to transfer knowledge of social justice into their classrooms and add comparative perspectives into their curriculum. 

The two-week seminar informed K-12 teachers about global social justice activism and protest movements by focusing on the regions of East Asia, Eastern Europe/Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The seminar was held by the Center for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies in partnership with the Center for Latin American Studies, East Asian Studies Center and Middle East Studies Center. 

One of the primary missions of the Area Studies Centers is to work with Ohio K-12 schools to promote knowledge and understanding of different regions by bringing the culture, histories and languages of these regions into the classroom.  

The seminar was led by Steve Crowley, an Oberlin College professor and chair of the Department of Politics, and Daniel Redman, graduate teaching associate in Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology and a high school social studies teacher. The seminar began by creating a solid understanding of relevant political, social, and historical theories of protests and politics. 

Guest experts also were featured, and they highlighted regional issues for case studies. They described social justice and political protest movements from the present and past, as well as how the larger population and policy makers perceived activism during these timeframes. 

Angela Granata, a high school English language arts teacher for Dayton Public Schools, participated in the seminar. She said she hopes to use her newfound knowledge on global issues and activism in her own classroom and looks forward to more seminars in the future.  

“I use the information in my classes once a week called ‘Popular Culture’ and my students enjoy the ‘break’ from traditional ELA9,” Granata said. “I find my students have no clue about the Asian culture and this allows them opportunities to compare with their own culture.” 

Darlene Wright, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Johnson Park Middle School, participated in the seminar, and she said the seminar educated her on different forms of protest and enlightened her to global social justice issues.  

“No matter where you are in the world, there are always issues of inequity that people face and stand up against,” Wright said. “I plan on incorporating the new information I learned about other cultures, the injustices they face, and their forms of protest by having students compare it to how we Americans deal with injustice and our various forms of protest.”