Freedom School’s pedagogical philosophy is: Black children and Black people are incarnations of greatness. However, education takes place in a context of resistance to global anti-Black racism. Freedom schooling is a tool through which political transformation and social transformation can occur and young, Black children can participate in political and analytical resistance. In the context of Freedom School, the social and family background of Black children are seen as a strength that children can bring into their learning environment since the classroom should be constructed around the personal, family, and community experiences of students.
Freedom School’s theoretical frameworks are: Black power, Afrocentric pedagogy, the Black consciousness movement. Our teachings begin with self-love, pride in self and community. We are also informed by politics of intersectionality and anti-oppression as they relate to Afrocentrism.
Tenets of FreedomSchool’s Pedagogical Framework
- Transformative Justice
- Black affirmative curriculum
- Intersectional curriculum/Disabilities Justice
- Family building
- Arts based curriculum
- Land Based Learning/Spirituality
- Community Self-Determination
A Note on Transformative Justice
FreedomSchool – Toronto is a an abolitionist group. As such, we do not believe in punitive justice, policing of Black children and families, or reinforcing the incarceration of Black people through the school to prison pipeline. FreedomSchool believes in utilizing transformative justice to address conditions that create harm, violence, and conflict in educational settings. We believe in accommodating disabilities, co-creating appropriate curriculum with youth and community, and addressing oppression in order to help mediate conflicts.
Daily Themes 2019
DAY 1 – Black Migrants Lives Matter!
DAY 2 – Trinidad be FREE
DAY 3 – Hoods of Toronto
DAY 4 – Land Based Learning and Indigenous Poetry
DAY 5 – La Resistance Francophone Noir
DAY 6 – Body Positivity/My Body My Choice
DAY 7 – Robots and Inventions for Revolution
DAY 8 – Drags: Revolutionary Transformation
DAY 9 – Spirits of the Movement
DAY 10 – Community Care in Movement Times
Ways of Knowing
Freedom School acknowledges many ways of knowing and styles of learning. As such, students will receive lessons through oral stories, books, film, animation, technology (e.g. 360 video), songs and games. Students will express knowledge through writing, visual arts, dance, poetry, martial arts, drumming etc.
Youngest Freedom Fighters Curriculum (Under 6 program)
The Youngest Freedom Fighter (Under 6 year old program) will mirror the Freedom School program and curriculum. However, lessons will be adapted to be child friendly and accessible to this age group. The under 6 program will focus heavily and love of and pride in self and community. The youngest freedom fighter program will focus on building emotional security.
All children at Freedom School – Toronto are expected and encouraged to conduct themselves based on the following code
My Black life matters, and I love myself and respect myself. My Black life matters, so I do the best in all that I do.
My Black life matters and therefore I do not put myself down, tell myself I can’t do something, or treat my work with disrespect.
My brothers, sisters, and siblings are kings, queens, and non binary royalty, and their Black lives matter. I will love and protect them as I love and protect myself.
My class-mates’ Black lives matter; therefore I do not put them down, call them names, or attempt to hurt their bodies or their spirits. My elders’ Black lives matter. I treat them with respect, following my CODE in their presence and in their absence.