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Contributed by Ari Kissiloff on 12/07/2012
Project Look Sharp’s curriculum is helping students across the country make meaningful social change. Featured in the 2012-2013 social justice lesson plan book, Planning to Change the World, Project Look Sharp’s curriculum will help young activists think critically about the women’s rights movement.
Planning to Change the World is “designed to help teachers translate their vision of a just education into concrete classroom activities.” The 2012-2013 edition highlights significant 10- year anniversaries and birthdays like Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday, or the 520th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the “New World.” The historical tidbits are used as a sounding board for critical class discussion about visionary leaders and historical events in social justice. Created by the New York Collective of Radical Educators and the Education for Liberation Network, Planning to Change the World helps teachers turn daily lesson planning “into [a] strategy for teaching toward democracy, fairness and peace.”
The plans book uses Project Look Sharp’s curriculum kit, “Media Construction of Social Justice,” to talk about the second wave of feminism and the book, Feminine Mystique. Written by Sox Sperry, Program Associate at Project Look Sharp, the kit “explores how social justice movements over the past 180 years have been perceived by people in the United States and how the U.S. media have constructed that public perception.” The kit’s subject areas range from LGBT studies to criminal justice studies, and each unit includes three lessons devoted to a different media form.
Planning to Change the World has been praised for its “transformative” teaching techniques and Howard Zinn, author of “A People History of the United States,” affirms that the plans book is “an imaginative and innovative idea in the field of education.” It is “something that teachers all over the country who have social consciences will find useful because it will give them an opportunity and a framework for putting into practice what they believe.”
Sox Sperry, the kit’s author, notes that the “documents referenced in Planning to Change the World are concerned in part with extending discussions about women’s oppression into the mainstream of society by creating a community context for women to speak publicly and honestly about their experience. Project Look Sharp appreciates Rethinking Schools for highlighting our media literacy approach to extend Betty Friedan’s community dialogues into the 21st century in this new collection.”
Planning to Save the World is for sale at www.rethinkingschools.org. To download Project Look Sharp’s “Media Construction of Social Justice” and other media literacy teaching kits, visit www.ithaca.edu/looksharp. Kits are available online free of charge or print copes may be ordered through the Ithaca College Bookstore for a small fee.
The mission of Project Look Sharp is to support the integration of critical thinking through media literacy in school curriculum and teaching. This is done through developing and providing lesson plans, media materials, training, and support for educators at all education levels.