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PRINTED VERSION (2014), 215 pgs

A Curriculum-Building Problem

Relevant, aligned, and engaging curriculum-authoring is difficult under any circumstance. How can practicing and pre-service teachers as well as youth and community workers more effectively connect to their students/communities, design relevant curriculum, and become highly effective educators? What is needed so future and current educators rely less on corporate textbooks, irrelevant standardized test prep, and content-stripped computer programming models? A set of tools!

A Curriculum-Building Solution

Grassroots Curriculum Toolkit 4.0.  Discover effective tools on your own, with your students, and/or team members to build more comprehensive justice-centered, thematic, project based, inquiry-based, interdisciplinary units of study. With the toolkit, your curriculum will be fully aligned to Common Core State Standards, the CPS Framework for Teaching, Illinois Learning Standards, UCLA Historical Thinking Standards and ACT College Readiness goals.

Presenting Six Major Elements to Curriculum Design (also sections of Toolkit 4.0)

  1. Grassroots Foundations: Grassroots Educators and Justice-Centered Teaching: Who? What? Where? When? Why How?
  2. Grassroots Foundations: Grounding Learning in Real World Context and Community
  3. Grassroots Foundations: Grassroots Teaching and Learning For, By, and With Our Students
  4. Grassroots Methods: Justice-Centered Approaches to Content-Area Instruction and Grassroots Unit Planning
  5. Grassroots Methods: Justice-Centered Approaches to Assessing Students' Learning
  6. Grassroots Methods: The Heart of Everyday Life in a Justice-Centered Classroom: Daily Planning

Additional Toolkit 4.0 Highlights

  • Introduction by Christine Sleeter, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, College of Professional Studies, California State U., author of numerous works
  • Justice Centered Tips and Practices by Ten Effective Urban Educators, a powerful 10 page reading with project ideas
  • Over 100 documents covering an extensive list of critical topics in urban teaching (215 pgs)
  • A seven step process to co-create amazing curriculum with students and communities
  • An extensive look at CGCT's pedagogical framework, methods, and classroom practices
  • Handy lesson plan, unit mapping, and skills-alignment templates for greater relevance
  • A wide variety of curriculum examples - ready for classroom implementation
  • A wide variety of assessment tools and examples - some ready for classroom implementation
  • Contributors include Ann Aviles de Bradley, Ph.D., Alison Dover, Ph.D., Asif Wilson, Lindsay Smith, Isaura Pulido, Ph.D., Anton Miglietta, David Stovall, Ph.D., Theodore Chao, Ph.D.,  Bill Kennedy, Ph.D., Elizabeth Skinner, Ph.D., Brian Horn, Ph.D., Silvia Gonzalez, Cecily Relucio Hensler, Xian Franzinger Barrett, Noemi Cortes, Rochelle Brock, Ph.D., Gregory Michie, Ph.D., Miguel Guevara, Karen Zaccor, Cyriac Mathew, Lucero Segundo, Jaime Camargo, Cinthya Rodriguez, and others

Intended Audience and Uses

  • Pre-service teachers: good for Educational Foundations, Curriculum and Instruction, and Methods courses where unit planning with cultural relevance and social justice integration are valued
  • Current educators: good for lesson planning, assessment design, project development, content ideas, curricular ideas, handy student tools, and more
  • Students: good for involving students in the co-shaping of their own learning
  • Non-profit programming and after-school program planners: good for all of the above.

Examples of Curricular Units Created by NEIU Students (EDFN 305) Using this Toolkit 

The following websites contain curriculum units designed by students from Northeastern Illinois Universities' Educational Foundations 305 course. For most, it's not only their first course towards becoming a teacher, it is their first time creating curriculum. Using CGCT tools, students seek to generate culturally relevant, thematic, skills-based, project-based, and creative curricula for their future students.

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