Educational Justice and Reform

If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much.
Marian Wright Edelman

Instead of seeing these children for the blessings that they are, we are measuring them only by the standard of whether they will be future deficits or assets for our nation's competitive needs.
Jonathan Kozol

“Unless the schools provide our children with a vision of human possibility that enlightens and empowers them with knowledge and taste, they will simply play their role in someone else's marketing schemes. Unless they understand deeply the sources of our democracy, they will take it for granted and fail to exercise their rights and responsibilities.”
Diane Ravitch

As our countries and educational systems face many formidable challenges which may negatively affect the quality and depth of the how teach and learn and where ‘reforms’ have been bandied about for decades – some implemented, some not – how can we do it better when it comes to ensuring every young person – regardless of orientation, disability, race, gender and economic status – can learn. How do we as a nation provide the necessary conditions where learning – in the words of acclaimed sociologist bell hooks – can most deeply and intimately begin, where diversity in the classroom is acknowledged and respected? Some educators call for a paradigm shift to a model of caring, while still others confront funding inequities, poverty, racism and cultural hegemony. Some educators are unapologetic about their goals – that the main aim of education should be to produce competent, caring, loving and lovable people.

At our discussion, we will consider the past and present of social justice in the education system aided by insights from Michael Salzaman, the keynote for this section. Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Salazaman is also a licensed psychologist who offers veteran expertise in intercultural sensitivity training, multicultural counseling and counseling for trauma and recovery among indigenous peoples amid cultural erosion and marginalization linked to 21st century globalization.

A total of eight sessions in this topic area should add up to a sturdy grip on the emerging tools and ideas necessary to transform classrooms into inclusive environments.  From a look at how to promote language development for students with disabilities to guidance in how to use lessons from the Civil Rights era to ensure the rights of students with disabilities, expect to come away from these sessions with increased confidence that education is the way we produce competent, caring, loving and lovable people.

For more information on this topic area, please contact the PACRIM 2017 team at For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact registration desk at