Instruction & Anti-Racism

Updated: Apr 13

What does planning instruction have to do with being an anti-racist? A classroom environment can either perpetuate racism or illustrate anti-racist practices, we know this, right? Despite some of the disparaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic, change in the educational landscape is happening.

To fully immerse ourselves in designing instruction (which is just one teaching component), we must first acknowledge and understand the impact that systemic racism has on people of color -- and even more damaging young people of color. Being anti-racist is an ongoing self-reflective, collaborative, and advocacy process.

Without awareness and constant reflection with action, planned instruction will not meet the needs of the learners.

"Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible" — Maya Angelou.

Beliefs and Instruction

What we believe doesn't always transfer to how we behave. To that end, being critically aware of our belief systems and mental models support our work toward fostering and cultivating a classroom that can be personified as anti-racist.

Designing effective instruction is an action - a series of decisions that, if we are not intentional and cognizant of our belief systems about the learners, will perpetuate the ideals of whiteness. ID4Educators provides anti-racist educators an opportunity to gain skills, knowledge, resources, and tips from instructional design processes to inform intentional instructional planning.

To Do’s Before Planning Instruction

Throughout your decision-making processes that inform instruction, keep the following within your mental model.

  • Embrace anti-Bias and anti-racist work

  • Listen

  • Decenter Yourself

  • Learn history

  • Understand equity

  • Recognize the urgency for anti-racists practices in your professional and personal life ( Ferlazzo, 2020)

  • Build community (you can start at your school or here!)

  • Action and beliefs must align: if you believe every student can learn how to do, you manifest that in your actions and decisions





  • Performing Anti-racist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication

Additional resources:

  • Learning for Social Justice (My Favorite Online Resource)

  • Strategies for Embracing Anti-racist Work in Our Classrooms by Larry Ferlazzo