The Office of the President and the Centre for Teaching and Learning have announced that Andrew Allen has been selected as the Anti-Racism Pedagogies Teaching Leadership Chair.
Dr. Allen, associate professor in the Faculty of Education, said he is excited about taking on the role and looks forward to the opportunity to continue to work with colleagues across the university, and at other institutions.
“I want to help to interrogate issues of race and racism in what some are calling an age of ‘post truth’,” said Allen. “I want to help infuse into and raise awareness and understanding of anti-racism pedagogies into our university curricula — whether intentional, unconscious, or systemic racism — and to dismantling the barriers, practices, and policies that perpetuate all forms of oppression within our society.”
Anti-Black racism strategic planning officer Marium Tolson-Murtty said that part of the purpose of the position will be to help decolonize the curriculum and to ensure information presented to students is multi-dimensional, rather than unidimensional, or predominately through a Eurocentric lens.
“We know that to engage learners, you want to be able to provide a variety of perspectives, and sometimes students that are from various communities, racial backgrounds, or cultural backgrounds can be more engaged in the work if they know that there's some kind of a historical cultural racial reference point,” said Tolson-Murtty.
She said that students who feel more engaged and connected to material may lead to a snowball effect where ultimately, they feel like they can make a difference.
Allen echoed that sentiment.
“The goal is for all our students to see themselves as agents of change and for them to collectively help to develop productive and constructive strategies for change,” he said.
Tolson-Murtty said that Allen was chosen because of his strong background in working with racialized and marginalized communities.
“I applied for this position because I still want to help to make a difference, as when I first began this journey into teaching as a classroom teacher in inner-city Toronto,” said Allen. “I am looking forward to getting to build on my current service and research activities, to leading and supporting teaching and curricular initiatives focused particularly on anti-racism pedagogies.”
Allen teaches Elementary Mathematics Methodology and Mathematics Foundations in the Faculty of Education’s pre-service program. He is currently the co-ordinator of the Urban Education Partnership teacher education program. His international development work includes rebuilding and supporting an orphanage and school in the Singida region of Tanzania in East Africa. He and his colleagues in the Faculty of Education have taken education students to Tanzania since 2008.
The Anti-Racism Pedagogies Teaching Leadership Chair will be a two-year position that will start July 1. Visit the Anti-Black Racism website for more information about the university’s commitment to challenge, confront and eliminate anti-black racism.