This article was published in the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Weekly Update on March 22, 2012:
The Justice Matters Core Curriculum in place at Cabrini College was the topic of a two-hour presentation and discussion for Mother Cabrini High School faculty. On Thursday, March 1, 2012, College staff explained how social justice themes were integrated into the curriculum and incorporated student field experience. They also offered suggestions about how the high school could integrate social justice learning and practice into the daily life of its students.
Presenting for Cabrini College were Dr. Jeff Gingerich, Dean for Academic Affairs; He was assisted by Dr. Beverly Bryde, Education Department Chair; Dr. Michelle Filling, English Department Chair and Coordinator of the Engagement With the Common Good (ECG) sequence; Dr. Mary Harris, Business Department Chair; Professor Amy Persichetti, Department of English and ECG 300 Coordinator; and Dr. Jerry Zurek, Communication Department Chair.
“We teach students to be in solidarity with the poor and the oppressed,” said Dr. Gingerich. “Students do service projects with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), working directly with those CRS serves. This helps students understand what families go through and provides a context for service. We moved from a charity to a justice model, and we help students look at the structural issues involved, such as ‘What causes homelessness, and what can we do?’”
To assist high school faculty with finding a way to incorporate social justice into the curriculum and activities, everyone was divided into small groups to discuss themes and activities. The groups were joined by College representatives who helped facilitate the discussion. Social justice themes considered were human trafficking, economic equality, gender violence, and immigration.
When the groups reconvened they chose immigration as a school-wide focus for Holy Week and discussed activities for the next school year. Over the summer, students will read A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, a story that puts into human terms the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last 30 years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to the post-Taliban rebuilding. A committee of MCHS faculty, led by Principal Kerry Schmid, will structure the activities.
~ Written by Mike Radice
Submitted by: J. Hasse, Reference Librarian