With global challenges growing and violence, injustice, cruelty and destruction flourishing, you know that it's even more essential to address issues of social justice (human rights, environmental preservation, animal protection, media, culture & consumerism) with your students -- to help them think critically and creatively about the world and their place in it. But with all the tests and standards and demands on your time, how do you do it? You're not alone in your passion to integrate justice and equity into education; there are numerous useful resources available, and we've compiled (in no particular order) 10 terrific ones for you to explore.
- Institute for Humane Education – Of course we have to recommend ourselves. Thousands of teachers and community educators have accessed our humane education activities, suggested books for adultschildren, our Humane Connection blog and other resources for building a just, compassionate, sustainable world for all people, animals and the earth.
- EdChange – A goldmine of social justice resources, EdChange and its sister sites offer more useful essays, activities, tools, links and other goodies than you can shake a number 2 pencil at.
- Americans Who Tell the Truth – Focused on changemakers in the U.S., these paintings by Robert Shetterly capture the words and wisdom of people not afraid to speak the truth and work for a better world. In addition to the portraits and short bios of those featured, the website includes suggested curriculum and a blog to help educators spark ideas for helping students understand their heritage and inspire their futures.
- Education for Liberation Network – Our favorite part of ELN’s website is their EdLib Lab, an interactive database of teaching materials, curriculum and resources compiled from other organizations. It’s searchable by categories such as grade level, topic, keyword, and material type, and something new is added frequently. You can also submit your own.
- Rethinking Schools – RS has a whole slew of publications that should be added to your “must read” list. Focused on educational reform and issues of equity and social justice, RS offers insightful, innovative, and useful essays, teaching ideas, analysis and more through its quarterly magazine and numerous books.
- Teaching Tolerance – A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, TT is a bastion of educational materials and ideas useful in integrating the social justice lens into your classroom. Between the quarterly magazine, classroom activities, blog, and other resources, there is plenty to delight and inspire.
- Radical Math – Want to integrate social justice into your math classes? On the RM website you’ll find hundreds of lesson plans, articles, charts, books, websites and other resources that you can find by subject, math topic or resource type.
- Black Ants & Buddhists – One of my favorite education books ever, and required reading for our students, Black Ants & Buddhists: Teaching Critically and Thinking Differently in the Primary Grades by Mary Cowhey, outlines her experiences integrating social justice, activism, community participation and critical thinking into her first and second grade classes in order to nurture “more informed, articulate, active and participatory citizens who know the power of their own voices.” A great and inspiring resource whether you teach young ones or not.
- Planning to Change the World – A collaboration between Education for Liberation and the New York Collective of Radical Educators, this planning book for teachers offers ideas, essays, lesson plans, quotes and tips for helping teachers “translate their vision of a just education into concrete classroom activities.”
- “Social Justice and Language Arts” (pdf) – A great article by Christopher Greenslate, one of IHE’s M.Ed. graduates, and a language arts/social justice teacher. Yes, it’s only a single resource, but it serves as a wonderful template of specific ideas and examples for integrating issues of animal protection, human rights, environmental protection and cultural issues into language arts teaching.
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