Department of Education Statements:
On December 11, 2020, the Maine Department of Education, along with other educational organizations, released a statement declaring a Commitment and Support for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Maine schools. In this statement, the MDOE and other organizations declared:
We proudly and steadfastly support the educators and districts in Maine who are taking on the work of understanding and dismantling racism and inequity in our schools and communities. We urge all Maine schools and educators to accept their role and responsibilities in examining and addressing the inequities that have long existed in our society and institutions.
Also as part of the statement there was a commitment to support:
- Every educator in every role shares the responsibility for ensuring equity for every student and participates in equity education, both in teacher and administrator preparation programs and ongoing throughout their careers.
- All academic and non-academic programming is culturally responsive and co-constructed with community members.
- Reviewing your SAU’s Controversial Issues (check out this resource for support) policy and best practices for engaging in discussions responsively and responsibly.
- Expecting all school personnel to engage in professional learning about anti-racism and culturally responsive practices.
- Reviewing and revising curricula and materials to ensure they are well-rounded, decolonized, and representing all experiences.
- Establishing expectations that every student will achieve and is challenged with rigorous curricula.
Also, on June 6, 2020, the Maine Department of Education released a statement declaring Our Commitment and Shared Resources to Combat Racism. In this statement it is declared that:
We at the Department of Education (DOE) share in the outrage and frustration, and stand with those who are peacefully protesting and demanding a change. We believe in the basic human dignities that should be afforded to all people in our country. We stand with and for our many colleagues, students, and their families who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) around the state, and will do all that we can to fight racism and inequities, and to ensure they are safe and welcomed in the State of Maine. We affirm with you that Black Lives Matter.
Also as part of the statement there was a commitment to:
- Providing resources and encouraging Black History and Ethnic Studies in PK-12 curricula and decolonizing current curricula.
- Honoring and celebrating all the languages, cultures, histories, and identities of our colleagues, students and their families
The resources below were collected and created in order to support commitments that the Maine Department of Education has made in order to support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Maine schools.
During recent legislative sessions bills have been sponsored that support the teaching of a wide variety of topics that are meant to widen the scope of a student's learning experience to better incorporate more diversity, equity, and inclusion as a way to support anti-bias education.
The webpages below are inspired by the Facing History and Ourselves Pedagogical Triangle (see below for more information) and conversations with staff at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. The resource pages are meant to not only provide resources that provide intellectual rigor for students as they learn about different topics, but also to provide school districts with the tools to engage in ethical reflection about the curriculum that are being offered for their students and resources for individual teachers and students to practice emotional engagement in their own personal work and beliefs. While all of the resources are can be used individually to support and enhance social studies education, only through the use of all three types of resources (or sides of the triangle), will students be given the tools necessary to become informed and civically responsible participants in their school and communities.
Content Area Studies
The Pedagogical Triangle
To Facing History, pedagogy is not a set of teaching techniques that can be used to get across particular ideas or encourage effective practice of specified skills. It is an active process of engaging young people with challenging content through a process that builds the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of deep civic learning.
Facing History created the Pedagogical Triangle for Historical and Civic Understanding to serve as a touchstone for balanced program and lesson planning. The arrows between intellectual rigor, emotional engagement, and ethical reflection are bidirectional, as these processes strengthen each other. At the center is the students’ civic agency, their belief that they can play a positive role in their peer groups, schools, communities, and larger world.