Now that it is FINALLY summer (happy summer, teachers! Congratulations on the end of the school year!) We had free time to work on a summer curriculum and instruction program within our entire school. We compiled a social justice education scope and sequence based on existing work and needs from an anti-bias perspective. I (Nina) worked with one of the Art teachers and our author in residence to come up with common vocabulary, document existing work, and identify gaps or areas we'd like to see more work done. For reference, our school is K-8 and independent with one class per grade.
First of all, it was fascinating and inspiring to hear about and detail the work our colleagues are doing! We have some amazing investigative work around gender in Kindergarten, work around social class, wealth, poverty, and food insecurity in first grade, action and advocacy in second, and so much more! As a fifth grade teacher, I am so grateful my colleagues who lay the groundwork for what we try to do and of course, also the colleagues who follow up after our students leave us!
We did our best to compile resources and vocabulary to address gaps in programming that we addressed. Some online resources we loved for this quest where: Teaching Tolerance Classroom Resources, Perspectives for a Diverse America, and Teaching for Change Booklists!
One of the gaps we noticed was around ableism. In our 5th grade classroom, we do a "What is DisAbility?" investigation, but agreed that we needed conscious teaching around ability and language use starting much earlier.
We also created a vocabulary list with simplified and more specific definitions to use as a professional resource, with students, and as a reference for common language across the school. We are very excited to see our exhaustive vocabulary list in action next year!
Please comment and tell us any ideas, suggestions, or connections you have. How does social justice education build in your school or practice? What resources inspire you??