Over the summer the Justice, Equity and Diversity's curriculum committee (Cecelela Tomi, Oliver Brown, Kim Hake, Mo Sauvain, Faraday Borg, and Charlie Spence) met in retreat to devise a pilot Social Justice Framework for teachers. The idea was that if we are going to have social justice as a tenet of our mission, we need to give teachers resources and support in finding material, updating projects, vetting literature, and doing research on what's considered up to the minute best practice in an ever unfolding landscape of change and growth. The team put together a first draft of the framework, which we see as a sort of filter through which all current and developing curriculum could be explored. Then, teachers each took a piece of their own curriculum (such as the 6ht grade Design Your Own Park Project and the Middles' Colonial America study) and took a closer look with the tool we had designed.
Here are some excerpts from the framework:
Social Justice Curriculum Framework
Feelings and associations:
What are your first associations with this topic? Try to notice what immediately comes up for you without judgement. What is there? What might be missing?
Does this topic genuinely interest or excite you? What interests/excites you about it? If it doesn’t interest you, why do you think that might be?
Is there anything you feel like you should confront about this topic, but are scared to?
What are your own beliefs about this topic?
Where are your biases? How do you think they make their way into your teaching? How might you expand your viewpoint to hold a wider range of perspectives?
Where do you feel like you are at in your own exploration of this topic?
Circle one: new at it, somewhat knowledgeable, expert
Where and how did you learn what you know about this topic?
Background and Content
Could the curriculum inquire further into the social dimensions of the subject? (Even if it is science/math/engineering, how does this subject affect different groups of people both positively and negatively? Are there any controversies about this subject you might cover?)
Whose voices and perspectives are students hearing in your materials? Whose voices and perspectives aren’t students hearing? Do the resources you use reinforce stereotypes or biases? In this subject/field, who has the power? How did they get it? Should they have it?
We will continue to refine the framework over the course of the year and we are so excited to share more of it with you. It feels like incredibly relevant and important work.
Head of School
PS The fox expert came and has created an exit plan for the foxes. It is humane and elaborate. We should be back on the Primes field for play time by Thursday. Thanks, Jane Stephenson, for making this happen!