Freedom Teaching: Overcoming Racism in Education to Create Classrooms Where All Students Succeed by Matthew Kincaid

Book on a table in front of a bookshelf

Freedom Teaching: Overcoming Racism in Education to Create Classrooms Where All Students Succeed by Matthew Kincaid is a call to action for educators to confront and seek out the uncomfortable truths in the education system. Kincaid’s work challenges the status quo of the K-12 education system by encouraging educators to acknowledge and address the disparities that exist due to systemic barriers inherent in our education system.

Kincaid’s book highlights the crucial need for representation in education that actively addresses the realities faced by our increasingly diverse student body. It resonates with Ontario Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 119 (PPM 119) in that it asks us to create authentic and relevant opportunities to learn about diverse histories, cultures, and perspectives (PPM 119, 2013). In this endeavour, we are also urged to do this with mindfulness and investment in the spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects of our students.

The book highlights the importance of acknowledging and working continually to dismantle systemic barriers that hinder the success and inclusivity of our students from different cultural backgrounds. Commenting on schools facing high poverty rates, where students from northern communities, including First Nations and Métis, seek inclusive education, Kincaid’s book hits home for me. As an educator in a diverse and dynamic educational setting, I found Kincaid’s insights to be both enlightening and actionable. His emphasis on the importance of cultural responsiveness and equity resonates profoundly in today’s educational landscape. The text urges all educators to reframe our educational strategies to prioritize anti-racism, fairness, and inclusion.

This book asks all professionals in the education sector to embrace uncomfortable truths, confront disparities, and proactively work towards creating an educational environment that supports and represents all students. It offers strategies and insights that are not just theoretical but practical, providing a roadmap for educators seeking to create classrooms that foster a sense of belonging and success for every student.

Kincaid’s message is not just about acknow­ledging the problem; it is a blueprint for action. It is a call to reshape our educational approach and create an inclusive space where all students feel seen, heard, and supported. Freedom Teaching is a beacon of guidance in our mission to provide equitable education for every student who walks through our doors.

WORKS CITED
Developing and Implementing Equity and Inclusive Education Policies in Ontario Schools Policy/Program Memorandum No. 119 (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/119.pdf

About Stephanie Madussi
Stephanie Madussi (she/her) Teacher, District 5A, Northern Shield

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