How can we use digital media, literature, and investigations of our communities to help us rewrite our stories and roles within the world?
Danielle Filipiak and Isaac Miller not only asked such a question, but also designed a whole curriculum for their 150 Detroit students in Western High School so as to investigate the question amongst many others relating to identity, place and power. And better yet, they documented and analyzed their process and findings and published them in their English Journal cover piece, “Me and the D: (Re)Imagining Literacy and Detroit’s Future.”
As outlined in the Detroit Future Schools Toolkit, we believe that a humanizing classroom requires the integration of four core instructional elements:
1.Critical Pedagogy 2.Documentation & Evaluation 3.Community-School Interactions 4.Digital Media Arts Integration
Danielle and Isaac do a phenomenal job of detailing how they not only made the core ELA curriculum relevant to their students but also integrated all four of the above elements into their practice.
For teachers asking how to engage students in rigorous content while prioritizing a humanizing practice, this piece is a perfect starting point.