January 29, 2018
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has released a new Black Canadian curriculum resource to encourage elementary teachers to be more inclusive of Black studies in classrooms throughout the year. 365 ETFO Black Canadian Curriculum offers ready-made lesson plans to explore Black history, culture, identity and current day realities of racism and discrimination with students. It will assist teachers in integrating Black studies into the Ontario curriculum within language arts, science, social studies, history, geography, music, drama and physical education. “Ontario educators need to work harder at moving beyond the current Eurocentric curriculum and this resource will encourage our members to take that next step with students in age-appropriate ways,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Given the legacy and current prevalence of anti-Black racism in systems and institutions that groups like Black Live Matters have brought to light, this resource will go a long way to filling gaps in Black history and discussing current issues in a respectful and reflective manner.” The 365 resource underscores ETFO’s commitment to social justice and equity issues in classrooms and communities. Some of ETFO’s best Black educational writers including Natasha Henry, a leading expert on Black Canadian history, developed the lesson plans and accompanying poster. They feature the lived experiences of Black Canadians from the past and present including political figures William Hubbard, Rosemary Brown and Jean Augustine as well as activist Viola Desmond, musicians Oscar Peterson and Kellylee Evans and athletes PK Subban, Kadeisha Buchanan and Andre De Grasse among others. The resources, which are free and easily accessible for teachers to use, is being supported with an accompanying members’ workshop available to ETFO locals across the province. The resources can be found here: http://www.etfo.ca/SupportingMembers/Resources/Pages/365.aspx. ETFO is committed to building better schools. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at buildingbetterschools.ca. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 80,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.