What kind of education leads to the best kind of thinking beyond internalization and repetition of specific ideologies?

This page is not an endorsement, but an invitation to revisit what we mean by curriculum and look again at how we build pedagogy.


the lab report
the lab report


Happy New Year! This month’s lab report features lesson plans from Oxfam, an international aid agency that has an education department based in Britain, related to environmentalism and globalization. The lessons cover a wide variety of topics including Darfur, the coffee trade and climate change. This report also includes lessons on Native American culture and politics that were shared on the Education for Liberation Network listserv in November. We hope network members will continue to enrich this important social justice education tool by posting their own teaching materials.

the lab report is a monthly update of curriculum materials posted to the EdLib Lab, the network's online database of social justice teaching materials. To join this community of educators, sign up here for the Education for Liberation Network listserv.


Iraq: War and Peace by Oxfam
A resource for teaching about the Iraq conflict for ages 8–16. The activities allow you to explore students’ questions about the conflict, discuss the effect that the war has had on this country, examine techniques for resolving conflicts, and debate whether wars can ever be just.
Grade Levels: All
Cost: No

Darfur: Teaching About the Issues by Oxfam
Using the stories of young people caught up in the conflict, this resource helps you to introduce the realities of life in Darfur to students aged 13+. Sections include: a history of the conflict; stories from young people living in the camps about their daily lives, the fears they face, and their hopes for the future; information about Oxfam’s work in Darfur; and ideas for actions students might take about the issues.
Grade Levels: High
Cost: No

Find Your Way Through Trade by Oxfam
A simple introduction to global trade for Primary schools. These lesson plans help your pupils to understand the basic principles of global trade. Starting with everyday items – things from the supermarket – the lessons explore where items actually come from and how they reach us. Drawing out links between raw materials and finished items, and helping pupils to understand the supply chain, this resource also gets pupils thinking about global trade rules and who benefits from them.
Grade Levels: Elementary
Cost: No

Coffee Chain Game by Oxfam
Profits from the coffee industry are unfairly distributed – explore why with these materials for students aged 13+. Coffee companies make huge profits, while the farmers who grow the coffee make barely enough to live on. These resources show the contrast between farmers who sell their coffee on the open market, and those able to sell their coffee to Fair Trade buyers. Includes powerful interviews with coffee growers in Uganda.
Grade Levels: High
Cost: No

Clothes Line by Oxfam
A resource exploring cotton production and the textile industry in India for pupils aged 7–11. Lessons include an exploration of the journey of cotton from the field to the shops; a quiz about India; and a class survey about the origins of students’ own clothes. They all explore the concept of Fair Trade.
Grade Levels: Elementary
Cost: No

Climate Chaos by Oxfam
A week of activities about climate change for ages 9–11. These materials provide an overview of the causes and consequences of climate change, and help teachers to explore its impact on everyone, especially people in the developing world. The activities also help pupils to understand their own contribution to climate change, and that of their school.
Grade Levels: Elementary
Cost: No

ABCs of Native American Heritage Month by Teaching Tolerance
Teaching Tolerance offers a wealth of activity ideas tied to Thanksgiving, Native mascots and indigenous people's proud heritage of resistance.
Grade Levels: Unknown
Cost: No

Serrano Indian Classroom Activities by Amy Wahe
This site contains several lesson plans related to the history, legends and culture of the Serrano Indians of California.
Grade Levels: Unknown
Cost: No

Alaskool by Alaskool
This site contains a wide variety of teaching materials and lesson plans about the Native People of Alaska.
Grade Levels: Unknown
Cost: No


The Education for Liberation Network is a national coalition of teachers, community activists, youth, researchers and parents who believe a good education should teach people—particularly low-income youth and youth of color—to understand and challenge the injustices their communities face.