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Lockview's Equity Journey (**New, we are working on this page)

Throughout the year, DSBN has prioritized equity, inclusion and anti-racism. Equity involves removing barriers so that all feel included for those who may be vulnerable to exclusion. The journey this year began with building an awareness that we all carry implicit bias and are vulnerable to making snap judgements based on gender, race, ability, etc. Staff were led through examining ways in which we can interrupt bias in the moment when it occurs by interrupting, questioning, educating and echoing. In addition, and as always, staff are encouraged to ensure that the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds are celebrated, highlighted, and embedded into the curriculum throughout the year. A variety of books to support inclusion were sent to school libraries including themes of black history, gender equity, upstandership, body positivity and faith-based inclusion.

Interrupt Bias. Every Time. In the Moment. Without Exception

Using a critical literacy approach is a way to embed positive school climate strategies in the curriculum. Critical literacy goes beyond simply decoding and understanding texts; it emphasizes in-depth study in which messages and viewpoints are questioned and the power relationships – both in the text and between the author and readers – are considered (Promoting Critical Literacy across the Curriculum and Fostering Safer Learning Environments, Roberge, 2013).

Some questions that can be used to support developing students’ critical literacy skills include:

  • Who was included? Who was excluded?
  • Are some characters more powerful than others? How so? Is that fair?
  • What would you do differently?
  • Who is vulnerable (i.e., more likely to be excluded)? Why? Is that fair?
  • Would you stand up for a character in the book? Why and how?
  • Do some people hide who they are? Why?
  • What points of view are in the book?
  • If you could be a character in the book, who would you write a letter to? What would it say?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this book? What did the author want us to think about?
  • Who is represented? Who is not? Is anyone mis-represented?
  • Whose point of view is missing?
  • What stereotypes are presented?
  • What is the author’s background?
  • Are opinions presented as facts?
  • Which words lead to inclusion? Which words lead to exclusion?
  • What local or global context frames the information?
  • How do our own personal experiences impact how we understand this text (book/poem/video/website/podcast)?
  • How does the information/events fit or not fit with your own interests, values and beliefs?
  • What would you change to make this text more inclusive?

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In addition, unlearn ™ posters are open to interpretation and promote critical literacy discussions. Consider the image below. Why did the artist create this image? What did the artist want us to think about?