A Rich Seedbed of Ideas

Submitted By:
Jeff Baird, Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, Brooklyn, NY

In Unearthing Joy, Dr. Gholdy Muhammad expands upon her transformative model of culturally and historically responsive education from her previous work, Cultivating Genius, adding in the pursuit of joy as an essential goal for teaching and learning. Dr. Muhammad provides a plethora of practical applications for schools and educators to reimagine curriculum, assessment, and school practices that intentionally foster opportunities for all students to see and identify beauty within themselves, humanity, and their histories. She provides questions, tools, and strategies to help educators and leaders navigate an audit and revision of our current systems, mindsets, and habits, including ways to assess student joy and wellness, develop professional learning communities and new approaches to staff meetings, and revisit interview questions for prospective employees to ensure they are equity-centered. Ultimately what she leaves us with is both a rich seedbed of ideas we can leverage to engage in this critical internal and collective external work, and a pathway to cultivating communities where all our students are able to flourish. As we seek to make our efforts around student wellness and culturally-inclusive practices hallmarks of our schools, our hallways and classroom spaces must meet the challenges of this moment by enabling, amplifying, and embracing the importance of joy.

Student Wellness & Safety
Teaching Practice
Leadership Practice