Meet Dawnavyn James, an educator, who advocates for year-round Black History teaching.
According to the book’s description, “Beyond February” teaches educators how to center Black History in their classrooms.
“Drawing on her experiences as a classroom teacher and a Black history researcher, James illustrates the big and small ways that we can center Black history in our everyday teaching and learning practices across the curriculum using read-alouds, music, historical documents, art, and so much more,” the description reads.
The book was born out of a blog post where James shared her experience teaching Black history in schools. The post caught the attention of an editor, who motivated the educator to write the book.
“Beyond February” composes five sections: Beyond the People, Beyond the Books, Beyond the Curriculum, Beyond the Month and The Work Doesn’t Stop Here. It lists picture book recommendations and lesson plans to help teachers provide a more holistic approach to teaching Black history.
James is pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Buffalo’s Center for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education. The doctoral student is researching the ways that elementary teachers use picture books to teach Black history.
“I’m really looking at how teachers analyze picture books and teach Black history based on what they know about Black history,” she told UB Now News.
She went on to say that she grew up having limited exposure to Black history, and is is mainly centered around Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The educator said that she wanted more for her students.
“I didn’t want my students to share my own experience without Black history, so I made it a point that it would be highlighted in my classroom year-round instead of once a year during Black History Month,” James said.
The self-proclaimed “Lover of Black Histories” uses her Instagram platform page to discuss her research and to share Black history-centered books and educational tools with her audience.
The book can be purchased here or on Amazon.com.
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Source: Black Enterprise