44 – Identity-Affirming Curriculum for Black Youth (w Kaya Henderson)

Traditional curriculum does not situate Black youth in a positive light and Kaya Henderson is on a quest to do something about it. Kaya is perhaps best known for serving as Chancellor of DC Public Schools from 2010-2016 and as the co-host of “Pod Save the People” podcast. Now, she is the co-founder and CEO of Reconstruction, a technology company delivering a K-12 supplemental curriculum that situates Black people, culture, and contributions in an authentic, identity-affirming way. In episode 44, she connects with Natalie to discuss the misconceptions about culturally-responsive teaching and how removing the barriers of the school system can unlock passion and joy. Show Notes: The need for caucusing in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. (2:30) Why Kaya is unapologetically Black. (7:40) How the traditional curriculum doesn’t situate Black children in a positive light and how Reconstruction is offering a different perspective. (9:20) Playing an inside-outside game to change the school system. (13:10) The teaching job is the most resistant to change and people are starting to demand more meaningful and manageable work. (17:20) An identity-affirming national Black curriculum. (19:30) Misconceptions exist about culturally-responsive teaching in a predominantly white teaching force. (22:55) The underrepresented period in American history called “Reconstruction” which is a narrative of Black excellence and the namesake of Kaya’s company. (26:35) Being liberated from the school system ignites creativity and curiosity. (31:40) Co-creating curriculum with a team of “reconstructors” who are passionate about the mission and experts at creating a culture of belonging. (36:35) Reimagining education to be more flexible and indulge the passions of students. (42:25) The purpose of education. (45:00) View full show notes here! Kaya on Twitter: @HendersonKaya Email the Podcast: hello@educrushpod.com Podcast on Twitter: @educrushpod Natalie on Twitter: @natabasso Podcast on Instagram: @educrushpod Podcast Website: www.educrushpod.com    Resources: https://reconstruction.us/home