Featured Resource: Planning to Change the World

When it comes to integrating humane education into their classrooms and helping their students create positive social change, most teachers need all the help they can get. The newest edition of Planning to Change the World: A Plan Book for Social Justice Teachers, is one such resource, rich with ideas and tools for teachers. Created by the Education for Liberation Network and the New York Collective of Radical Educators, in partnership with Rethinking Schools, it is a must-have tool for educators passionate about empowering their students.

Planning to Change the World helps teachers turn their daily lessons into meaningful explorations of important issues, people and events that affect people, animals, and the planet, while stimulating critical thinking and enthusiastic discussions, and inspiring positive action.

The plan book includes:

  • Significant anniversaries, observances & birthdays (generally those that fall on a 10 year mark) – You’ll find the kinds of people & events you’d expect, as well as important but lesser explored events, issues, and people, such as World Carfree Day & the 40th anniversary of signing the Biological Weapons Convention.
  • Essential questions – These are guides to spark discussions w/ students about important issues, such as “How has education been used as a tool of oppression?” and “Why do Americans take loving care of cats & dogs, but eat cows & chickens?”
  • A list of social justice conferences
  • A thought-provoking quote of the week
  • Links, coded by general grade level, to useful lesson plans, articles, videos and other resources connected to featured people & events – We’re so excited that some of IHE’s resources are in there!
  • Tips from fellow social justice educators - the Teacher2Teacher and In Conversation With… segments are invaluable snapshots of what actual teachers are doing (and struggling with) in their classrooms.
  • Award templates - Honor students in your classroom for speaking up, taking risks, and using their knowledge & skills to make a difference

The plan book is organized generally by each month and day, with a useful section at the end grouped by topics (peace, media literacy, war and imperialism, etc.). The book offers a great representation of cultures and gender, and it’s heartening to see more integration and exploration of animal protection as a social justice issue.

As Tara Mack and Bree Picower, editors of the plan book say, “It is both a daily reminder of the importance of teaching for justice and a collection of tools to help you do just that.”

Planning to Change the World is a useful and powerful resource for bringing social justice issues to mainstream teaching, and every teacher -- whether classroom, community, or homeschool -- should want one.

~ Marsha

BONUS! We've generously been given 2 copies of the plan book to give away! If you want to be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win a copy, email Marsha@HumaneEducation.org with your full name, email address, school name, and what you teach by Wednesday, August 24, 2011. Winners will be contacted via email.
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