"Social Justice in Count me in"

Posted On 2/8/2019 3:19:00 PM, 0Comments

 The book that i have examined is called “Count me in: 12th Grade” which has 10 themes in total and these are: “Music”, “Friendship”, “Human rights”, “Coming soon”, “Psychology”, “Favors”, “News Stories”, “Alternative Energy”, “Technology”, “Manners”. The books has shown its supportive side of social justice by examining it in seperate units. We can see it through the units “human rights” and “alternative energy”.

3rd Theme: Human Rights:

First of all, the students are asked questions about what “human rights” mean to them and then through a “read and match” activity, students are given ideas about what human rights include. And these are : “Gender equality, animal rights, women’s rights, disadvantaged people, children’s rights”. Also, through the text they read, students will be informed and be aware of “United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights” which might open their eyes and see what kind of rights they have on this earth as individuals.

After that, the students are asked to take a look at the pics and talk about the advantages and disadvantages that people have. This is a beautiful way of making students understand that not every individual has the same opportunities as the others have. Related to this activity, in the next one students are required to read a text called “Appreciate the gifts in your lives” and answer the questions depending on the text. In my opinion the purpose of this activity is also to raise awareness. It preaches students to appreciate every single thing in their lives such as being able to walk on their own or having a hospital near their home and think about others who don’t have the same opportunities.

In another activity three photos are displayed for students and they are about “refugees, people with disabilities, rural populations”. They are offered some solutions they could match to these issues. So,basically students are shown various ways of how to take action and may see what could be done to help out. To sum up almost all of the activities carry the purpose of raising awareness about human beings and their rights, however, the topics were mostly about disabled people or homeless people and in my opinion, the topics should have been more various. For example there was an activity where students take a look at newspaper headings about human rights and discuss their opinion. Instead of this, there could be an activity about animal rights because the title of the unit may be about human rights but human beings are not the only creatures that exist on this Earth so a reminder about this could also work to make a difference.

Theme 8: Alternative Energy:

This unit concerns about environmental problems and brings up the solutions that could be useful. One of the first activities is about the importance of electric cars and solar panels for our planet. And to emphasize this, a short biography of Elon Musk is given. The text includes his visions to protect the mother earth. Not only would this let students know how people are taking action for our planet,  but it might also inspire them to take steps in the future even if they are very small. Introducing students people who have achieved great things for the world might show them it is possible to take actions.

Another activity that drew my attention was a complaint letter about someone who was having an environmental issue. She was indignant at the fact that people in the neighborhood are using low-calorie carbon which pollutes the air and  she was warning the people in charge about the risks involved in environmental and individual terms. This activity is a good way of showing students how to take action when they face a problem like this. In this chapter, most of the activities are alike but they all have the same purpose: environmental problems. There are also inspiring quotes and slogans in the book such as “The future is green energy, sustainability  and renewable energy”.  “Sorry but this is urgent I am losing my habitat”.

 As a whole, the book has proven its supportive side of social justice but it's hard to say the same thing for all of the units. For example “The music theme”;  music is a universal way of representing our emotions, thoughts and feelings and we have seen many artists  doing it so however in a classroom it might be tough to practice music and raise awareness about social justice and the activities in the book, some of them, are not related to social justice so making a connection between these two topics might not be very compatible

 Another theme in the book that could be related to social justice is friendship. Through the activities, the book emphasizes all the important pieces of friendship and our attitudes towards each other as human beings. Even though it has not been mentioned in the book the topics could involve how gender equality plays an enormous role in our lives how racism spreads negativity around or how people who are a part of LGBTQ should be treated with kindness and respect. Hence, my idea is it could be emphasized through the theme of friendship. And the other  themes “coming soon, psychology, favors, new stories and Technology” might be related to social justice in various ways but the book already took care of it by examining social justice related topics in separate units. Plus the other topics I have mentioned above are not rather compatible with the social justice issues.

Biography

Posted On 1/24/2019 6:55:00 AM, 0Comments

Born in October 14, 1995 and raised in Samsun, Turkey. I finished Karşıyaka High School, which is close to where I live. In high school, besides being interested in languages, I was also a part of School Theatre for 2 years.

Currently, I am a senior student at the Department of English Language Teaching at Ondokuz Mayıs University, OMU. I have been so passionate about languages and other cultures since I was a little girl so I decided to pursue this idea and I attended at an English Programme. I worked as a language teacher in English Language Teaching Courses in the past to gain some experience.

I also worked at the International Relations Office of OMU as a part-time worker and was a part of ESN Samsun at that time. Between 2016 and 2017, through Erasmus Exchange Programme, I studied the second year of my bachelor programme at the Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic. I got the opportunity to see another part of the world and exposed to cultures that I had never been exposed to before. And that gave me an idea how enriching it could be for everyone to exchange cultures and languages.

Currently, I have been learning French since I want to enhance my language skills and due to my interest in languages and doing research about Neuro-linguistics as well as communication disorders which draw my interest.

Busra Polat

4th year student in English Language Teaching at Ondokuz Mayis University

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