The minute I read the description of the program
and it said social justice it was for me. Coming from my background it was immediate.
Like ok this is the one I want to apply to. One thing that makes this program unique is the fact
that it actually does concentrate on social justice, and it allows every student to look into the
topic of social justice within their own personal interests. You learn people skills. And you
learn how to argue and disagree, but respectfully while building off each others opinions and thoughts.
The SCAE environment is definitely different then your regular traditional classroom. I
think the best part about the program is that we learn from one another. We use dialogue.
We sit in circles and definitely have a genuine conversation throughout our whole classroom
time. It’s not the typical experience where a student comes in and we lecture to them
right. And so a lot of what we call facilitation in the classroom is really based on kind of
the Svedian idea that everybody is a learner. So I engage in learning just as my students
engage in learning. And yes I have an expertise in a particular area, but that everyone comes
to the table with knowledge. So for me my role I think is scaffolding those discussions
and scaffolding the critical dialogue that we engage in. But also coming to it with an
understanding that yes my role is a professor, but my role is really to facilitate the discussion
around the knowledge that these students already have. I feel welcomed, appreciated. Appreciated
in not only what I can contribute, but also I feel and give appreciation for what I am
able to learn. When I’m able to see the things that other people are doing, it gets me excited
because I can see where I’m going to be at and where I have the potential to go and how
I can grow to the highest level to create the highest level work. It gets me very excited
everyday about coming to school. This program offers a very unique space, an opportunity
to grow both academically, professionally, aesthetically… I don’t know what other adjective
to describe other than it is really a transformational experience. It actually changes you. From
the beginning to the end it changes you and the dynamic and the elements that causes that
change will depend upon how you engage in the material and also how you engage and interact with your colleagues. It has enabled me in my position, in my role, to be more conscious
of the fact that we need to engage our community much more when we create these programs and develop
services and think of needs that we actually have this conversation with the people we’re
serving. And that they become a critical part and piece of that puzzle. Our program is actually
very diverse in a number of ways. So its uniqueness has a lot to do with the subject matter and
that we take this critical stance and we focus on critical pedagogies and critical theories.
We’re also very diverse in the sense of the students who make up the program. And that diversity
is not just racial and ethnic diversity, it’s also diversity of language, it’s diversity
of age and backgrounds. And I think that’s a real strength of the program because all
of that diversity adds to that really rich discussion that we have in out classes. It’s
so broad it leaves you the doors open to any field in education. You can be an educator,.
You can continue your education in terms of a Ph.D. You can get into counseling, higher
education, K-12. I think it’s so broad that you are able to really do what you love and
take the topics that you learn from that you maybe is now a sphere of influence, and see
how you can help any community.