Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

That's Not Fair: Teaching and Learning Racial Justice with Young Children

Cheryl J. Sutter, Maggie Nolan Donovan.

Maggie Donovan is a veteran of the American Civil Rights Movement. She worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee from 1963 - 1967. Maggie and Cheryl Sutter, her teaching partner, have created a freedom curriculum based on stories from the Movement and earlier resistance struggles. They teach this curriculum to their six to ten year old students. Their work involves both story telling and student's oral, written and artistic responses. The two overriding themes are resistance and collaboration. Through their work with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, they have explored how students' learning together deepens both individual and group understanding. Their knowledge of the group process, gained through their work with Project Zero, has enabled them to make connections between their students' work in groups and the collaborative nature of the Civil Rights Movement. Their presentation will include specific stories as well as multiple examples of students' creative responses, including artwork, poetry, song, dance and drama. Traditional American teaching about the Civil Rights Movement focuses on two individuals, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, and gives the impression that they brought about social change quickly and easily. In contrast, the freedom curriculum emphsizes the ongoing struggle of many people and their persistance and resolve in the face of overwhelming oppression. Maggie and Cheryl have presented these ideas to many American teachers through workshops and publications.


Cheryl J. Sutter

Maggie Nolan Donovan  (United States)

  • Teaching Social Justice
  • Interactive
  • Collaborative Curriculum

(60 min. Workshop, English)