Welcome to the fourth and final episode in my month-long exploration of “power” in schools. I don’t know about you, but I found all of these conversations fascinating in terms of how much the power relationships we have in schools impact the experience that kids have, and the extent to which we are functionally unaware of the many ways in which power influences almost every decision you make.
But what I think I may have learned more than anything is the ways in which power is inherent in the system. The ways that we interact with one another happen in large measure because of the underlying structures and norms and expectations that are baked into a system that was created at a time that looks much different from today in terms of our individual power to learn and to create and connect.
And so in today’s podcast, we dive into the power that the system holds over us with Dr. Özlem Sensoy, a professor of education at Simon Fraser University and the co-author of Is Everyone Really Equal? An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education, now in its second edition. Dr. Sensoy, whose forthcoming book Why Take Media Seriously? comes out next year, talks powerfully about how we need to reflect deeply on how our actions are molded by the system, ways in which we can turn our classrooms and cultures into more equitable and more just environments, and how to work with colleagues and students to develop a greater sensitivity to the power of the system and ways to act to change it. I think it’s an important conversation that I totally enjoyed.