Wednesday, September 13, 2017

OSCAR Student Asha Jones Investigates the Utility of Social Justice and Human Rights Curricula from an Educators Perspective

My name is Asha Jones, and I am an Integrative Studies major, with a concentration in International Studies and a Social Justice minor. For my research project, I am investigating the utility of social justice and human rights curricula respectively from the perspective of educators, and the ways in which they are similar, and how they differ. I am working under the mentorship of Dr. Paul Gorski, from New Century College, as well as Alex Cromwell, an instructor in Peace Education at American University. I became interested in the field after taking a class here at Mason, NCLC 101, Narratives of Identity. In this course, we learned about different social justice issues, and how our perspectives impacted our understanding of these topics. After seeing how seemingly ignorant many of my classmates were, I became interested in social justice and human curriculum in high schools, and how we can first make them available for all, and secondly make them better. There is currently a huge divide in the two schools of thought, however, I believe it is possible that if advocates for both were to unite, they would be in schools everywhere. Ultimately, I aspire to do human rights/advocacy type work, and education is key in both of these tasks, so this research is fitting. At this point, majority of my research is reading, as well as conducting interviews. My research question has shifted a bit since my initial proposal, so now my time is consumed by doing additional reading to further pinpoint my question, and to ensure I am asking the right questions to answer that question. My study will be qualitative, and for a while I was having difficulty finding a niche within the realm of social justice education, but I believe I have figured it out.