Cultivating Joyful Learning Spaces for Black Girls
Insights into Interrupting School Pushout
Monique W. Morris
Build learning environments that support Black girls' excellence and academic achievement.
In this thought-provoking and illuminating book, former educator and social justice advocate Monique W. Morris addresses the harmful policies, practices, conditions, and assumptions that too often criminalize Black girls' behavior and steer them down "school-to-confinement pathways" in disproportionate numbers. The key to disrupting such punitive pushout is for educators to develop meaningful relationships with Black girls—connections that are grounded in cultural understanding and focused on helping Black girls develop their identities as valued individuals and contributors to the larger community. Such relationships, Morris argues, can shift Black girls' schooling from a punishment-oriented experience to one that is joyful, healing, and transformative.
Along with her own research and experience, Morris explores the topic through in-depth conversations with three distinguished educators and clinical practitioners: Venus Evans-Winters, Janice Johnson Dias, and Kakenya Ntaiya, who provide insights about the challenges of educating Black girls and uplifting accounts of success in promoting their excellence and achievement.
These conversations and takeaways for practice are essential guideposts for any teacher, school leader, and policymaker committed to creating learning environments that dispel damaging attitudes and practices and allow Black girls to flourish.