Many faculty members in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction explore ways to integrate our research and teaching agendas with community well-being and flourishing, both within a local and global context. We seek to educate for human rights, social justice, and peace. One could say that we hope to imbue our lives and work with the quality of “Ubuntu,” an African sensibility, which Desmond Tuto describes in No Future Without Forgiveness (1999) as “the very essence of being human.”
Here are some of the initial activities that we will describe on our collaborating site:
1. Creation of an Education and Labor Collaborative interested in conducting qualitative research examining what young people are taught (or more typically NOT taught) about class and labor issues in schools, socializing institutions, and the popular media. We take an activist approach to this inquiry and aim to organize educators, communities, and unionists to work together for alternative ways of educating young people.
2. Peace and Human Rights Education–This year we will be organizing our fourth annual Teaching for Peace and Human Rights Conference that brings together educators from around the globe to collaborate on teaching strategies and ideas on human rights advocacy. (This conference is co-sponsored by Adelphi University and the United Nations.)
3. Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum Partnership to address “Anti-Indianism” in the general K-12 curriculum. We work together to provide workshops and resource materials to help local teachers gain cultural competency to the authentic history and contemporary interests of Long Island’s Indigenous community.
4. Service learning and Community-Based learning initiatives involving, among other projects, the creation in 2004 of the Caroline Wambui Mungai Foundation, which currently provides a caring home and schooling for 43 children, ages 3-10 in Wangige, Kenya.
We look forward to adding more initiatives to our site in the coming year and welcome the comments, suggestions and collaboration of our Leigh Benin, Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education Diane Caracciolo, Assistant Professor of Curriculum & Instruction Rob Linne, Associate Professor of English Education Anne Mungai, Associate Professor and Chair of Curriculum & Instruction Department and Director of Special Education Programs Rita Verma, Assistant Professor of Adolescence Education.