#Disrupt Texts is a crowdsourced, grass roots effort by teachers for teachers to challenge the traditional canon in order to create a more inclusive, representative, and equitable language arts curriculum that our students deserve. It is part of our mission to aid and develop teachers committed to anti-racist/anti-bias teaching pedagogy and practices.
- We believe that literacy is liberation. By developing students’ literacy skills, we support their ability to critically read and navigate a democratic society. To be literate in today’s world, students must develop empathy and an understanding of a diversity of experiences.
- We do not believe in censorship and have never supported banning books. This claim is outright false. It is a mischaracterization of our work made to more easily attack us, serve an agenda, and discredit the need for antiracist education. Teachers and schools determine curriculum for any number of reasons, and in fact, we know that censorship and banning efforts disproportionately hurts LGBTQIA+ authors and BIPoC authors are already underrepresented in the publishing industry.
- We believe that literature provides access to a diversity of experiences by providing “mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors” (Bishop, 1990) to develop empathy and understanding. A curriculum that does not reflect the diversity of human experience does a disservice to all students.
- We believe that no curricular or instructional decision is a neutral one. For too long, the traditional “canon” — at all grade levels — has excluded the voices and rich literary legacies of communities of color. This exclusion hurts all students, and especially students of color.
- We believe that critical analysis of all texts helps students become stronger thinkers. Each of us has studied, taught, and continue to teach from canonical texts, just as we also make intentional choices about teaching, pairing, and centering BIPOC voices.
- Thus, #DisruptTexts advocates for curriculum and instructional practices that are culturally responsive and antiracist.
You can read and learn more about #DisruptTexts and its founders by browsing the site, including the publications and media page.
In addition, please follow #DisruptTexts on Twitter as teachers from across the country and world come together to apply a critical lens on a central text (the 2021 #DisruptTexts Twitter chat topics and schedule TBD.) We’ll discuss how to disrupt traditional pedagogies by suggesting alternative titles and approaches through thoughtful pairings, counter-narratives, and inclusive, diverse texts sets.
The #DisruptTexts chat and website are facilitated by Tricia Ebarvia, Lorena German, Dr. Kim Parker, and Julia Torres.