On Saturday, April 7, the BB&N Global Education Program hosted the Primary Source conference "Teaching Social Justice in the World Language Classroom," welcoming more than eighty educators from metro-area public and independent schools to the Upper School campus. The conference featured two keynote speakers: Dr. Sonia Nieto, an expert on multiculturalism and social justice in education, and Alicia Lopez, Co-assistant Principal at Amherst Public Schools.
Teachers from different schools shared lesson plans on topics such as cultural appropriation and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. A panel discussion titled "International Experiences that Foster Global Citizenship" focused on the importance of international travel and cultural immersion to developing empathy and leadership skills.
In addition to the various presentations, grade-level roundtables allowed faculty to share experiences and ideas related to the conference topic. Of the over eighty teachers in attendance, 8 were BB&N faculty members. Upper School Arabic teacher Amani Abu Shakra shared, "the best part of the conference was the mini brainstorming session I had with my colleague Ms. Rose about how to teach social justice across all our languages with a template of a four year program."
Such conferences provide teachers with professional learning experiences that support the development of lessons which intentionally prepare our students to discuss and understand different perspectives on issues related to culture, privilege, and power. These skills are essential to empowering them to stand up for causes they believe in and understanding how their own identities and histories fit within both the local and global context.