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Curriculum fair highlights teaching for social justice

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

The First Annual Education for Liberation Curriculum Fair, sponsored by the Teacher Action Group (TAG), attracted more than 200 public school educators, teaching artists, community organizations, pre-service teachers, youth organizers, and university educators.

“At a time when students are viewed more like criminals than scholars, the removal of teachers is the foundation of the nation’s reform agenda …and education is distilled down to a script and a test prep book, we must act to change the status quo of education in this city,” teacher and TAG member Shanee Garner told the May gathering at the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School.

The fair included workshops examining topics like environmental justice, restorative practices, and service learning. Participants talked about ways to incorporate social justice, real-world content, and interactive teaching into the existing standards. Local artists held sessions that focused on using graphic arts and theater to enhance instruction.

Speaker Ayesha Imani, CEO of Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School, called for educators to “disrupt the dominant discourse in education [and] refuse to have our children reduced to a test score.”

Anissa Weinraub, one of the fair’s organizers, said the event “provided a positive space for engagement around our shared values and continued work as justice-seeking educators.”

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