Too often, educators of color are burdened with leading and supporting anti-racist work in schools and districts—perhaps even more so during COVID-19 and this year’s widespread calls for such work. These resources can help white educators and administrators take action now, carry their fair share of this work and ensure they’re in it for the long haul.
I was a little dismayed to note that among the “best” things that happened to me today was learning about the extent of indigenous slavery, which was more prevalent in the New England colonies than African slavery until 1720! But it’s the truth! This beautifully produced, 12-minute documentary is a suitable conversation starter for ANY classroom where the history of slavery, or themes of inequality are talked about.
This is a fantastic short article geared towards teachers. It’s also a great reminder of what a wonderful resource the website, Teaching Tolerance is.
In the piece, we are reminded of the intersecting meanings of being “civil,” meanings that may have to do with a mutual respect, but also may be couched in colonialist stories about “savages.” So, in just one word, students and teachers alike might find a radical connection between Black History in the 20th century– the so-called “Civil Rights Movement”– and the anti-colonialist struggles of indigenous people in the Americas. Brilliant!
I am reminded again of Wayne Ross’s conceptualization of K-12 social studies curriculum in terms of a focus on “dangerous citizenship.” My hunch is that this configuration of citizenship education has applications even more broadly across curriculums. What I am trying to get at, I think, is the necessity of historicisation of curriculum, or the necessity of teachers’ bringing a historical awareness to their lessons– whatever they are teaching. It’s a historicity that need not be confined to social studies, but one which includes things like etymologies (in the literal, linguistic sense of the histories of the meanings of words) as well as the historiographies of curriculum– the changing ways in which teachers and students have thought about their lessons over time. Such a historicisation is the big first step in bringing the focus of public education back to the progressive as well as more radical social reconstructivist aims that have guided it since the beginning.
This is a great, short piece from a periodical that I subscribe to online called Teaching Tolerance. The title is a little misleading– or maybe it’s kind of a bait-and-switch. That is, I think the editors went with the word ‘tolerance’ because this more passe term gives you alliteration with ‘teaching.’ But don’t fooled, the contents is a much more robust anti-racism than the title would suggest. However, the articles and hands-on, project-based, deeply reflective pieces in Teach Tolerance make it accessible across a broad spectrum of teachers, including those who may not be as well versed with the latest radical jargon etc., but teachers who are committed to making their teaching more just.
Also, this piece reminded me how much I really need to read more deeply in James Baldwin’s oeuvre.