Multicultural Curriculum Transformation for Social Justice Action
Faculty in higher education work hard to prepare critically conscious and culturally responsive educators
To meet the challenge, there has been a growing discourse and interest in research focused on preparing teachers and leaders for social justice. Yet, practical models applying this work in real-time is limited. Even fewer focus on how we might leverage cross-comparative models of pre-service and in-service teacher development as a way to effectively engage a culturally sustaining and responsive educational praxis. Our research fills the void. To better understand how to prepare educators with the knowledge and capacity to recognize the social and cultural capital marginalized and minoritized students bring to educational spaces, we explore the impact of a Multicultural Curriculum Transformation frameworks on pre-service educators’ capacity and will to teach and lead with a social justice orientation. Findings highlight the power of employing critical praxis as part of pre-service instruction, proving promising for educator professional development, increasing cultural proficiency amongst teachers and school leaders, and developing solutions to the urgent call to prepare educators with the skill and will to confront and pose solutions to the equity challenges that they and diverse students face.
Dr. Tonya Walls
Multicultural Education / Educational Leadership
Tonya Walls is an anti-racist scholar currently serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Formerly with Touro University Nevada's School of Education, her scholarship serves to amplify the voices and educational experiences of Black Girls and Women. In addition to her role in higher education, Tonya serves as Executive Director of community-based, social transformation nonprofit Code Switch: Restorative Justice for Girls of Color, where she advances girls rights through community engaged participatory action research focused on educational equity, eradicating racial injustice in schools, interrogating the cradle-to-prison nexus, and employing culturally relevant, sustaining, and humanizing pedagogies. She also organizes with Teachers for Social Justice Las Vegas.
Dr. Cynthia Zwicky
Elementary Education / Teacher Education Program
Cynthia Zwicky has been an educator for more than 25 years. In this time, she has worked as a classroom teacher, a mentor to new teachers and as a coordinator for various programs and initiatives, primarily with Minneapolis Public Schools. She has also taught undergraduates seeking a degree in elementary education where the emphasis was on teaching in urban schools. In addition to her teaching experience, Cynthia is a nationally recognized and locally respected authority on Restorative Justice Circles.