Wednesday, July 17, 2019

When Intent Meets Agency: Reimagining A Curriculum Based on Social Justice

Source: ASIDE 2019
Inventing an entire social justice curriculum from scratch can be daunting. It turns out, most well-conceived courses already touch on issues of equity and activism. One successful approach is to make social justice a more intentional, deliberate part of student practice. A humanities framework that highlights agency, empathy, and voice can elevate “social justice” from an afterthought to the forefront of a well-crafted curriculum. Signature projects include simulations, debates, public service videos, and student-led events. Reimagining — rather than redoing — a curriculum can raise the profile of social justice as an intersection of individual identity and critical thought.

Source: ASIDE 2019


We found multiple ways to empower students to explore the issues of intersectionality in race, religion, culture, and human rights. These opportunities provided students with a place to think critically about historical situations as they related to modern-day events. Based on our experiences developing projects and lessons for a range of ages, we designed a new framework for our curriculum that has proven particularly effective, based on five metrics.

Source: ASIDE 2019

An emphasis on student voice based on choice, persuasion, and personal identity enables them to: question aspects of forced assimilation and refugee status of Native Americans; raise awareness for human rights through documentaries and public service announcements; simulate juvenile justice in a mock trial; participate in We Day volunteerism; and identify problems and solutions as social entrepreneurs. These examples and more can offer valuable ideas for educators to implement in their own schools and classrooms.

Source: ASIDE 2019

How can a social justice curriculum elevate student voice and agency by emphasizing individual participation, historical empathy, and critical judgment? What are hands-on applications of projects and lessons, across a variety of subject areas, that focus on student choice and identity? Using a new theoretical framework, how can teachers highlight existing areas of social justice practice within their current curriculum?

Source: ASIDE 2019

Social Good

Human Rights

Migration, Refugees, Immigration
Reimagining Migration
Refugee Project
Book Series - Leaving My Homeland: A Refugees Journey From...

Student Videos
PSA Human Rights Defenders
Social Entrepreneur Enterprises
Human Rights Documentaries
Everyone Has Rights

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