Anti-Racist Curriculum

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About this Strand

Curriculum and Standards are fundamental, defining what knowledge and skills students are expected to learn. However, the persistence of an opportunity gap among groups of students points to significant inequities in the distribution of resources and opportunities among students.

Leading Educators Leading Educators
“Pedagogy should work in tandem with students’ own knowledge of their community and grassroots organizations to push forward new ideas for social change, not just be a tool to enhance test scores or grades. Pedagogy, regardless of its name, is useless without teachers dedicated to challenging systemic oppression with intersectional social justice."
Bettina L. Love
How might you use this?

There are many ways to make these resources fit your needs (and probably plenty more ideas you could add!). Here are some suggested ways to think about your entry point.

To critically examine how the resources you use with students support them to meet academic standards and grow as individuals.

To support classroom educators to deepen their understanding of the materials and make adjustments that serve all learners.

To interrogate the role of curricular materials and academic standards in reaching equity in your school and make adjustments.

To have conversations with educators about your shared goals for students’ learning.

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What this Strand Covers

Every student must receive access to and support with materials that are at grade-level from educators who believe they can meet high standards and be ready for college and career. To be successful, we believe that students need a combination of academic learning alongside tools for cognitive, social, emotional, and identity development.

Beliefs and succesS

Guiding Questions:

  • How do my personal biases, beliefs, and experiences affect the way that I privilege certain content, knowledge, and skills over others?
  • How can I disrupt traditional, Eurocentric curriculum to provide windows and mirrors into more diverse experiences (including but not limited to racial, ethnic, cultural, ability, gender, language, neuro, sexual diversity)?
  • How routinely do I examine the curriculum for bias, oppression, racism, and underrepresentation?
  • How explicitly are curriculum content, objectives, and skills connected to students’ existing cultural competence, intersectional identities, lived experiences, and college and career readiness?
  • In what ways do I build lessons around students’ funds of knowledge and cultural learning tools?
Explore the Framework
Potential Pitfalls

Even with good intentions, there is the potential to harm students. Our full framework identifies common risks to avoid in your planning. Here are a few examples:

Academics Only

Teaching only academic standards without supports for students’ social, emotional, identity, and cognitive development does not account for all that students need to thrive.

Biased Materials
  • Using standards-aligned materials that are biased or colorblind without making adaptations to remove bias and ensure relevance can perpetuate exclusion.
Representation Only
  • Making shallow connections to students’ cultures that don’t meaningfully connect to or scaffold learning undervalues the importance of their identities as assets. 
"Proceduralizing"
  • Showing students how to complete processes rather than develop capacity to internalize and practice conceptual engagement, executive functions, problem solving, and self management denies them opportunities for deeper learning.
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Take Action

Ready to make changes in your practice? Head over to our action center!

Over the next year, we’ll be listening and learning with the goal of lifting up stories that make this vision more actionable. Using these practices in your context will help educators across the country learn more of what works for equity.

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