Social Justice is: fairness and mutual obligation in society: the idea that we are responsible for one another and that we should ensure that all have equal chances to succeed in life (adapted from thersa.org).
Using this working definition of Social Justice, we embarked on a journey to explore what this means to children, families and educators. Prepped with our first wondering to take back to the children (what is fair?), seven enthusiastic educators from four unique child care centres began a journey of collaboration, reflection and investigation. This investigation evolved from spirited discussions around our personal wonderings that have developed from our individual experiences working with young children. Wanting to challenge ourselves to deepen our understandings of collaborative, reflective teaching practices, we let the work of Ann Pelo and other educators be our inspiration to explore this very broad topic.
Our significant learnings included a greater understanding of the value collaboration brings to the development of new perspectives.
As well, we discovered the richness and depth that truly listening and incorporating both the children’s and the families’ voices adds to our reflective teaching practices.
As we continue to move forward with our individual practices, we come away from this experience understanding just how important it is to continue being collaborative colleagues in order to become the educators we strive to be. The idea of social justice for us has evolved and now exists in our everyday vocabulary-not just as it pertains to the children, but also their families and ourselves as educators.