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Challenging the Status Quo in Education

Homework may be an outdated notion. Holding underperforming students back a grade may set them up to fail. Maybe students shouldn’t be grouped according to age.

Long-held concepts in education will be challenged during CSU Channel Islands’ 9thAnnual Conference for Social Justice in Education 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 1, in the Grand Salon on the CSUCI campus.

The conference theme is First Do No Harm: Challenging Laws, Policies and Practices that Undermine Social Justice in Education.

Educators, administrators, parents and the public are invited to participate in the free conference. A light lunch will be served and parking will be provided.
“We’re trying to talk about doing the right thing,” said Charles Weis, assistant professor of educational leadership.

“It’s reflecting on what we’re doing in school that may not help kids. Like retention; when we hold kids back in school, there is a better chance they will drop out. And homework. It has a very small effect and we should be doing things that have a large effect,” he said.

Keynote speaker is David Berliner, who is no stranger to questioning the status quo. His address is titled Myths (and Lies) that Deceive the Public and Harm American Public Education.
Berliner is Regents’ professor of education emeritus at Arizona State University and has taught at the universities of Arizona and Massachusetts, at Teachers College and Stanford University, and at universities in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain and Switzerland.

Berliner is a member of the National Academy of Education, the International Academy of Education, and a past president of both the American Educational Research Association, and the Division of Educational Psychology of the American Psychological Association.

He has authored more than 200 articles and publications, the most recent being 50 Myths and Lies that Threaten America’s Public Schools, which  was co-authored with Gene V Glass and students, and published in March, 2014.

“He is fascinating and he is a contrarian,” Weis said. “For 30 years, he has been asking educators to question our common practices and beliefs and makes us ask ourselves ‘are we helping our students learn? He’ll also tick off some people. He will challenge what we think we know.”
After Berliner’s address, participants will break into groups to discuss the subjects that most interest them. They also will be able to network with colleagues and parents.

To RSVP for the event visit

— Kim Gregory for CSU Channel Islands.

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