3rd Annual TSJ ItAG Cycle

May 10, 2012 Leave a Comment

Teachers for Social Justice’s 3rd Annual Cycle of Inquiry to Action Groups, or ItAGs, wrapped up on Saturday, March 17 with a report-back event held at Marwen, a youth arts organization.  ItAGs are groups of educators and activists who meet for 8 weeks to study a topic related to social justice and education.  They also commit to taking on a project that addresses the focus of their learning, thereby integrating study, reflection, and action.  TSJ adopted the ItAG model from NYCORE, the New York Collective of Radical Educators, our sister education activist organization.  Since 2010, TSJ has supported a yearly cycle of ItAGs running from January through March.  This year, 4 ItAGs completed the cycle – Anti-Military Recruitment in High Schools, Queer Issues in Education, Youth Activism, and the Community Writing Project.
The Anti-Military Recruitment group is focusing their action on educating the community about policies requiring parents and students to give consent for Chicago Public Schools to release their information to recruiters.  They plan to submit a proposal to facilitate a workshop at the People’s Summit, a convening of activists organized by Occupy Chicago to build on the energy of the NATO protests.  The Queer Issues in Education group (ChiQueer), is creating and compiling curriculum that addresses queer issues.  They plan to make it accessible online.  To incorporate the stories of queer Chicagoans into that curriculum, they’re making videos of queer people talking about their experiences, which will be available in conjunction with other resources.  The Youth Activism group is continuing to build together through continued critical discussion of anti-adultism, being adult allies, and supporting youth of diverse identities.  They are looking towards possibly facilitating a workshop at the TSJ Curriculum Fair this November.  The Community Writing Project seeks to further advance the writing workshop method in diverse educational and community-based settings.  They plan to build relationships with the Popular Education Alliance and gather a learning network of educators interested in learning more about the relationship between community-based writing and libratory education.  Finally, the Science/Speculative Fiction and Social Justice group did not complete the ItAG cycle, but the facilitators plan to continue gathering educators who are interested in sharing their passion for SciFi through a social justice lens.  Be on the look out for events from them!
If you are interested in following up with the work of any of the ItAGs, or in facilitating an ItAG for the 2013 cycle, please contact teachersforjustice@hotmail.com


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