July 20, 2024

TDSB pulls controversial anti-racism teaching resource after ministry calls it divisive

Teaching resource was created to aid classroom discussions on injustice, framing them around issues of equity, anti-racism and anti-oppression

A controversial document available to all teachers at the Toronto District School Board that said white supremacy is a “structural reality” in classrooms, that schooling is designed to benefit rich, white males and that education must be “decolonized” was taken down at the urging of the provincial education ministry.

The TDSB removed the document on Wednesday after the education ministry felt the material was inappropriate and divisive.

The board told the Star that after receiving “feedback about some of the language used” in the document, it was temporarily removed from the internal website so that a review can be completed.

The teaching resource, titled Facilitating Critical Conversations, was created to help guide classroom discussions on injustice, framing them around issues of equity, anti-racism and anti-oppression. It was posted early last week and available to staff for download.

The 40-page document says it was built around a handful of “core beliefs.” Among them is that “education is a colonial structure that centres whiteness and Eurocentricity and therefore it must be actively decolonized.” That “white supremacy is a structural reality that impacts all students and must be discussed and dismantled in classrooms, schools and communities.”

And also that “schooling in North America is inherently designed for the benefit of the dominant culture (i.e., white, middle-upper class, male, Christian, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, neurotypical, etc.)” It’s their interests and needs that have determined behaviours and values that are deemed to be the norm in education, it reads.

Interesting Read…

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