Pitt introduces initiative for 'justice teaching' in public schools

One of the efforts sponsored by the collective aims to "create and sustain a pipeline of justice-minded activists."

The new PittEd Justice Collective pushes “justice teaching” and anti-racist initiatives in schools at all levels.

Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education recently put together a three-year working group called the PittEd Justice Collective. This group was created on June 1 in response to “the loss of Black lives through police brutality and other forms of institutional injustice" with a stated purpose to “situate equity and justice across all levels of our school's operations, culture, climate, and academic engagements.”

The group aims to collaborate with "school districts on justice teaching, with an explicit focus on pedagogies, practices, and assessments" and establish a "Youth-for-Justice Dean’s Advisory Committee."

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It also seeks to "make recommendations for equity, justice, and anti-racism for public education, higher education, and society."

The collective has already fostered partnerships with other projects such as Shifting Power in Educational Research and Development, the Southwestern PA Personalized Learning Network, and Remaking Tomorrow: Learning in a Post-Pandemic Future.

In order to fulfill these goals, the collective has created its “Higher Education and Racism Initiative” or H.E.A.R. This initiative provides an opportunity for University of Pittsburgh graduate students to publish their own research on “individual and institutional anti-racism in colleges.” The initiative hopes to “create and sustain a pipeline of justice-minded activists, researchers, educators, practitioners, and policymakers."

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The collective is also offering a study group for students on “Abolition and Education.” 

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, a professor at the City University of New York, said of the study group topic, “we will consider abolition’s location in the Black Radical Tradition, be introduced to some of its frameworks and principles, and begin to become familiar with some of its commitments in the context of U.S. social and political movements, including education.” 

The study group will be led by Professor Sabina Vaught, Chair of the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading.

Campus Reform reached out to the school for comment but did not receive a response. 

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