The recent deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto and George Floyd in Minneapolis have sparked mass protests across Canada and around the world. Their names are two of many who have been killed as a result of systemic racism here in North America. Conversations about racism and the systemic changes that need to take place have been pushed to the forefront of everyone’s minds in light of these events. Many educators will also be wondering what their place in these conversations is, how to acknowledge their own personal feelings around the topic of racism, and how they should be addressing these important topics with their students.
Fortunately, there are a number of resources available for educators to help introduce the topic of race into the classroom, something that can be introduced across the curriculum and at all grade levels.
BCTF has also created sample lesson plans for elementary educators to use in their classrooms. Click here to access the lesson plans.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has committed to creating policies, professional learning, and curriculum resources that protect and support the equality and rights of black people. Public advocacy is also an important aspect of ETFO’s work in this area. Click here to access curriculum resources and information on building inclusive school workplaces.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation produced a resource called: Racism in our Schools: What to Know about it; How to Fight it. Although this is an older resource, there are important concepts covered and a variety of links to English and French resources that teachers might find useful. Click here to access this resource.
For those wishing to dive a little bit deeper into the topic, Adaeze A. Okolie’s research paper, Exploring the Implementation of Everyday Anti-Racism Education by Elementary Teachers in Their Classroom Instruction, may be of interest. Click here to review the literature and research presented in defence of her Master’s degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
Social justice is not limited only to the conversation of racism. imagineaction is a social justice program from the Canadian Teachers’ Federation which has created a Canadian Human Rights Toolkit for educators. There are over 150 resources on the topic of discrimination and over 100 on the topic of race, culture or ethnicity alone. Click here to view a searchable list of the resources.
We hope you will find one or more of these resources helpful as you consider your own role in the anti-racism dialogue, and as you look at how this discussion can be included within the science curriculum. I encourage you to reach out to us here at STAO and share how you have done this by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@staoapso) or by connecting with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director, STAO