Equity, inclusion, and ensuring each person has access  to resources they need  to thrive within the community --
be it a school, town or nation.

Social Justice Focus

Curiosity about the world often uncovers situations of injustice and unfair treatment of others along with a concurrent desire to solve these inequities. We incorporate key concepts in our curriculum and group process that develop an understanding of social justice. Many of our student projects and institutional activities incorporate civic engagement and community work with social justice goals.

Our curriculum incorporates developmentally appropriate introductions to several key concepts as well as the vocabulary of social justice. For example, in Kindergarten our social justice curricular goals include "enjoying and being around people like and different from one's self," or "noticing, expressing concern, and seeking help when someone is not being treated fairly."

 

As students grow, they are ready to understand social issues with more complexity and act with more responsibility in seeking resolution to social problems. For example, a fourth-grade goal is to "examine current and historical events through a social justice lens, asking who is involved, who is impacted, what is a fair solution." They will take this insight and apply it in a traditional fourth grade "Hootenanny" event project, where they are in charge of planning and executing their own class fundraising event for a social cause they've identified as important to them.

Our hope for each child is that they learn to acknowledge that oppression (i.e. racism, sexism, privilege, etc.) exists both historically and currently, and in response:
 

  • Understands the rights, responsibilities, and challenges of democratic processes within the school setting and actively participates in democratic decision-making.

  • Builds understanding of self and others through recognition of each person's unique identity and membership in multiple groups.

  • Respects differences among people and appreciates the value of our multicultural society and world.

  • Understands that identities, prior experiences, and structures within our society can shape and limit people's access to and participation in democratic process.

  • Critically questions rules, norms, assumptions, and stereotypes with respect and purpose.

  • Recognizes own responsibility to stand up to exclusion, prejudice, and injustice and works towards a more just and inclusive society.

Click to read or download our Social Justice Curricular Goals (pdf).

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”  John Dewey

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© 2018 The Children's School - 200 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302  |  708-484-8033

website by Tracy Litsey at Practicespecialty.com | photographs by Lindsay Schumaier Photography,  Eileen Moloney Photography, and Laura Donoghue