Be Prepared to Challenge Classism

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Building Understanding About Classism brochure by the Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontario


TEACHER RESOURCES AND READINGS CIcss Mcttcrs: Crcss-CIcss AIIicncc 8uiIding ]cr MiddIc-CIcss Activists. Betsy Leondar-Wright Wcrc rcsing Prcjudicc ]cr Gccd. ETFO Thc 8ctrcycI c] Wcrk. Beth Shulman Whcrc Wc 5tcnd: CIcss Mcttcrs. bell hooks kcthinking Dur CIcssrccms Tccching ]cr quity cnd 5ccicI 1usticc VcIumc !. Bill Bigelow, Stan Karp, Wayne Au Thrcugh thc ycs c] Wcrkcrs c] CcIcur: Linking 5truggIcs lcr 5ccicI 1usticc. Salome Lukas and Judy Vashti Persad Thc luturc Wc Wcnt: buiIding cn incIusivc curricuIum. Peel District School Board Dpcn Minds tc qucIity: A 5curccbcck c] Lccrning Activitics tc Prcmctc kccc, 5cx, CIcss, cnd Agc quity. Nancy Schneidewind NickcI cnd Dimcd: Dn (Nct) Gctting 8y in Amcricc. Barbara Ehrenreich ChcIIcnging CIcss 8ics. Toronto District School BoardWEBSITES www.cIcssccticnnct.crg www.ccncdicns.crg www.rcthinkingschccIs.crgSource: ChcIIcnging CIcss 8ics Grcdcs 7 !2, Toronto District School Board, 2005.Suite 1000, 480 University AvenueToronto, Ontario, M5G 1V2Tclcphonc. 4!6-962-J8J6 Toll-frcc !-888-8J8-J8J6Fax: 416-642-2424www.ct]c.ccPoverty is the worst form of violenceMahatma GandhiThis pamphlet was created to assist in building an increased understanding and awareness of issues that relate to socio-economic class, class bias, and classism.Be prepared tochallenge classism.Commitments we can make and/or actions we can take to challenge and confront classism Personal level Educatc yoursclf and othcrs around class issucs by facine your own assumptions, attitudcs, and bclicfs about pcoplc from diffcrcnt socio-cconomic backeround. Acknowlcdec that parcnts from poor and workine class familics valuc cducation. Fccoenizc that thcrc arc barricrs to parcntal involvcmcnt in their childs education that include work schedules, availability of childcarc, and flucncy in Enelish.School level Usc matcrial to promotc critical thinkine about class issucs and implement strategies to detect class bias in literature. Fc-cvaluatc school practiccs that may cxcludc somc studcnts, due to costs associated with participating in extra-curricular activities, special events, or other essential materials.Societal level Lobby eovcrnmcnt to climinatc child povcrty in Canada Advocatc and lobby for incrcascd minimum waec and improvcd acccss to affordablc childcarc 0cmand basic iob bcncfits of hcalth carc, sick pay, disability pay, paid vacation, and rctircmcnt for all workcrs.Building understanding about issues of classism Class consists of a larec eroup of pcoplc who sharc a similar economic and/or social position based on their income, wcalth, propcrty owncrship, iob status, cducation, skills, or power in the economic and political spheres. Class bias is an attitudc that lcads to discrimination bascd on an individuals or groups education, occupation, income, wealth, and/or economic means. Classism is a sct of pcrsonal and systcmic assumptions, bclicfs, attitudcs, and practiccs that oftcn discriminatc against persons according to their socio-economic status. It includcs diffcrcntial trcatmcnt bascd on social class, or perceived social class. Thcrc is a powcrful intcrscction bctwccn racc, class, and poverty. lntcrnal biascs can influcncc our classroom and school cnvironmcnts. wc must cxaminc our own |oftcn unconscious) valucs and assumptions about pcoplc around all issucs of class and classism.Our school systems and wider society might perpetuate class bias with the assumptions that:a. Childrcn from poor and workine class or immierant familics who do well in school are viewed as the exception and not the rule;b. All studcnts can afford to participatc in cxtra-curricular activitics, purchasc additional school supplics, or pay ficld trip fccs.c. Middle and upper class students will continue their education beyond high school, while poor and working class students are not interested in post-secondary education;d. Intellectual work is inherently superior to physical labour and thcrcforc dcscrvcs bcttcr cconomic and political rcwards.Books to start/support discussion of classismPRIMARY A Chcir lcr My Mcthcr. Vera B. Williams PPP Thc LcmpIightcr. Elisa Bartone 8y thc Dcwns crIy Light. Karen Ackerman Lcbcr Dcy. Mir Tamim Ansary 5trikc!. Maureen Bayless Thc TcbIc Whcrc kich PccpIc 5it. Byrd Baylor A Dcys Wcrk. Eve Bunting Dcccmbcr. Eve Bunting 5mcky Night. Eve Bunting 5cm cnd thc Lucky Mcncy. Karcn Chinn Gcttin Thrcugh Thursdcy. Mclrosc Coopcr kcd Pcrkc Mcry. Peter Eyvindson A 5hcItcr ln Dur Ccr. Monica Gunning Thc Ccrdbccrd 5hcck 8cnccth thc 8ridgc. Tim Huff Tight Timcs. 8arbara Shook Hazcn Hcmc: A CcIIccticn c] Thirty Distinguishcd AuthcrsJUNIOR 5cmcthing 8ccuti]uI. Sharon Denis Wyeth Ghcst Trcin. Paul Yee Thc 5trccts Arc lrcc. Kurusa CccIics. Yin lirc ct thc TricngIc lcctcry. Holly Littlcficld 5i, 5c Pucdc!- Ycs, Wc Ccn!. 0iana Cohn Thc Ccrpct 8cys Gi]t. Fcei 0citz Shca Thc lirst Dcy in Grcpcs. L. Kine Fcrcz 8cy c] thc Dccps. Ian Wallace lIy Awcy Hcmc. Eve Bunting Wcrk 5cng. Gary Paulsen Hcrvcsting Hcpc: Thc 5tcry c] Ccscr Chcvcz. Kathleen KrullINTERMEDIATE Lccking lcr X. Deborah Ellis Mcnicc Mcgcc. Jerry Spinelli Thc Wcrst c] Timcs. Jamcs Lincoln Collicr Wcrking lmcgcs c] Ccncdicn Lcbcur. Laszio 8arna lqbcI Mcsih cnd thc Cruscdcrs Agcinst ChiId 5Icvcry. Susan Kuklin CcII Mc kuth. Marilyn Sachs kigcrbcrtc Mcnchu: Dc]cnding Humcn kights in GuctcmcIc. Michael Silverstone lIying Gccsc. Barbara Haworth-Attard 5titchcs. Glen HuserCcncdicns might scc thcir sccicty cs cIcssIcss bcccusc thc vcst mcjcrity c] pcrscns thcy intcrcct with crc mcmbcrs c] thc middIc cIcss, thcrc]crc, vicwing cnd vcIuing it cs ncrmcI cnd igncring bcth cxtrcmcs c] thc pccr cnd thc rich. Thc Icrgcr thc middIc cIcss, thc Icss visibIc thc cxtrcmcs.John Hofley, 1971Be prepared to challenge classism.