Learning From the Civil Rights Movement


June 27, 2014


On the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the Mississippi Freedom Summer, educators can make this milestone a teachable moment and use history to empower students to learn about leadership, justice, and the importance of education. It’s also a time to think about civil rights issues—such as bullying and disproportionate discipline—that affect students in today’s classrooms.

Education Northwest is completing a series of posts on Facebook that looks at the Civil Rights Movement in today’s school environment. The bookend pieces include a Northwest Matters blog post from Region X Equity Assistance Director Joyce Harris on the educational opportunities that this anniversary year brings to educators and a companion video with Harris speaking directly to teachers about the value of teaching about the Civil Rights Movement.

Additional resources on teaching about the Civil Rights Movement include a set of classroom resources available through the Oregon Leadership Network, a set of five practices designed to provoke thought and innovation when teaching about civil rights from the Teaching Tolerance project, and the Teaching the Movement 2014 report that provides a grade for each state on this topic.

The series featured an article on Education Northwest’s Kendra Hughes’ strategies for supporting schools on incidents related to bullying and harassment with a focus on the victim’s perspective.

REL Northwest also teamed up with REL Mid Atlantic for a webinar on identifying and addressing discipline disparities held on June 26. This accompanies research reports prepared by the two organizations on findings from studies in Oregon and Maryland published earlier this year.

Educational equity is at the core of Education Northwest’s work. Check back for more research and educator resources in the coming months designed to give our audience a closer look at how civil rights play out in today’s schools.