As we worked on this first issue of Learning for Justice magazine, we focused in on one question: “What will we carry forward from this extraordinary past year?”
In this issue, we’re lifting up models of exceptional work in social justice education—examples from educators, scholars, students and families who recognized the ways the pandemic and a national reckoning on racism threw a spotlight onto issues of inequity and injustice that have harmed so many of us for so long.
We’re looking at how people have called for change, working in ways that refused a goal of getting “back to normal” and instead insisted on a better education system for all students.
Reviewing these inspiring stories, we asked ourselves: What will we at LFJ carry forward through this time of remarkable change?
It’s a question we’ll keep posing. We’re continuing to revise our work to ensure it aligns with our mission and our values. Right now, for example, even as we continue to share new articles and episodes of our podcast, we’re also reviewing all of our lesson plans, updating two of our best practices guides, and expanding and working on a new framework for teaching the civil rights movement.
But as we look back on the work we’ve done, we want to make sure you and all our readers know about all of the resources available to you here at learningforjustice.org. Here’s just a bit of what we’ll be carrying forward!
Among our most popular resources, LFJ’s offerings for classroom use are designed to support instruction and student inquiry.
Just for You
Currently, LFJ has over 200 ready-to-use K-12 classroom lessons. In our online classroom lesson bank, you can search by keyword or filter lessons by grade level, social justice domain (select identity, diversity, justice or action), academic subject or topic.
Learning Plan Builder and Learning Plan Bank
Our Learning Plan Builder helps educators combine LFJ’s Social Justice Standards with Common Core-aligned literary strategies and student performance tasks. You can build your own lesson or search through the hundreds created by other LFJ users.
Student Tasks and Teaching Strategies
For LFJ-recommended activities and assessments supporting writing, civic engagement and critical literacy, check out our recommended student tasks. And for ideas about engaging students in inquiry and discussions, browse through our dozens of recommended teaching strategies.
Share With Students
Student Text Library
The nearly 600 selections in our Student Text Library range from historical documents to original, commissioned stories for students in grades K-12. All of our texts are keyword-searchable and, like our lessons, can be filtered by grade level, social justice domain, academic subject and topic. Texts are accompanied by student-facing questions to support comprehension and start conversations.
Our classroom-friendly films are designed to introduce students to critical social justice topics and start important discussions in your classroom. From brief introductions to key topics to student-ready documentaries to a semi-autobiographical short, LFJ films are accompanied by viewers’ guides, lessons or text-dependent questions that offer critical context and recommendations for teaching.
Our One World posters are archived on our website in high-definition files ready to download and print for your school or classroom. Browse our archive to find some of our favorite inspirations for making the world—and each of us—just a little better.
Articles and Publications
We often say that LFJ is more than a magazine! Our special publications are designed to help you implement some of the great ideas you read about in our features. Check out our website for these resources and more.
We may have changed our name, but you can still find complete issues of Teaching Tolerance magazine available for free on our site! Browse our magazine archive to peruse three decades of articles about social justice in education.
LFJ has created several frameworks that offer road maps for critical topics in social justice education. Along with our Social Justice Standards and our Teaching Hard History resources, we also have frameworks for teaching about digital literacy and the civil rights movement. Find a sneak preview of our updates on the latter here!
Best Practices Guides
LFJ has also created a number of best practices guides. Some of them support specific student populations, including ELLs and families and LGBTQ students. Others provide guidelines for leading conversations, like our Speak Up at School, Reading for Social Justice and Let’s Talk! guides. And still others, like Responding to Hate and Bias at School, give recommendations for building more inclusive and just schools.
Print issues of Learning for Justice magazine come out only twice a year, but online we’ve got you covered year-round! LFJ’s online short articles lift up the voices, experiences and reflections of K-12 educators working for justice in their schools and communities.
Did you know that LFJ also offers several options for self-paced learning? Whether you’re looking to brush up on content, improve your practice or help build a strong, equitable school community, LFJ can help.
For a deep dive into the topics you wish you’d learned in school and recommendations for how to teach them, explore LFJ’s podcasts. Queer America traces the hidden LGBTQ history of this country. Teaching Hard History tracks the untold or often-oversimplified stories of Indigenous and African slavery in what is now the United States, of Reconstruction and of the civil rights movement. The Mind Online explores critical questions about digital literacy and online content. Listeners can also download certificates of completion that your school or district may accept for professional learning credit!
For those with only an hour to spare, LFJ webinars provide helpful guidance and resources from experts on a range of subjects! We have more than 50 webinars on topics from engaging families through home visits to making space for educator self-care to teaching the history of redlining in the United States. Participants can also download professional learning certificates upon completion.
And if you’d rather move at your own pace, explore LFJ’s self-guided learning resources. Browse our toolkits on instruction, classroom culture, school climate, family and community engagement, and teacher leadership.
Celebrating 30 Years of Learning for Justice
This year marks the 30th anniversary of our program. Since 1991, we’ve produced a deep well of resources. We’ve created thousands of articles, hundreds of lessons and dozens of webinars on critical topics in social justice education. We’ve produced films and podcasts. We’ve designed workshops and written reports, built a text library and developed a learning plan builder.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done over the last three decades and pleased to continue so much of it. And we’re looking forward to continuing and expanding our work alongside you in the years to come.