Africentric’ curriculum set for fall
Date: Thursday, July 20 @ 00:00:00 MST
Topic: Black Habits Articles
(RICK EGLINTON/TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE)
A math unit on racial profiling is part of a new black-focused curriculum expected to be field-tested by Canada’s largest school board this fall.
The new “Africentric” curriculum — designed to boost pride and test scores among black students whose achievement sometimes lags behind — which would include 10 social studies units, will likely be launched in November in Grades 6, 7 and 8 at Brookview Middle School on Jane Street north of Finch Avenue West.
Any teacher in the city will be free to use the units — roughly two weeks of lessons on a given topic — and they are to be taught to all children in a class, not just black students.
The new Africentric social studies units, written by teachers and funded by Queen’s Park, include lessons on Canada’s first black politicians, black immigration to Canada and prominent black artists such as composer Nathaniel Dett of Niagara Falls.
“And we’re looking at a data management unit that would use statistics about police and racial profiling — possibly from information used in the Toronto Star’s series,” said Education Prof. Andrew Allen of the University of Windsor, a key consultant on black-focused curriculum.
The award-winning series in 2002 showed blacks arrested by Toronto police are treated more harshly than whites.
“The idea is not to get students all worked up about racial profiling, but to allow them to ... develop a critical view of the world,” said Allen this week on a visit to the Africentric summer program at Shoreham Public School near Jane and Finch.
The move marks the first step by the Toronto District School Board toward developing a black-focused program of study that would be available at schools where there is interest — and possibly, in time, a black-focused school.