Sharing Teacher Trainings and Classroom Resources with the Wisconsin Sangat
March 15, 2022 (Wisconsin Dells, WI) -- On Saturday, March 12, Mandeep Kaur, an entrepreneur and Wisconsin community leader; Dr. Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Director of the International Educational Development Program at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education; and Harman Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Education Manager, presented at the Wisconsin Council for Social Studies' 2022 Annual Conference. The workshop provided 140 social studies teachers in the state information about the Sikh faith and how they can incorporate lesson plans into their social studies classrooms.
“This conference allowed us to preview and equip Wisconsin social studies teachers with high quality, constitutionally appropriate lesson plans dedicated to teaching about Sikhi,” said Harman. “We thank Mandeep ji for volunteering her time to present alongside us, and we look forward to deepening our engagement with Wisconsin teachers and schools in the coming years."
While Wisconsin does not currently include Sikhi in their social studies standards, training teachers and making new resources accessible to educators and the public are positive steps towards a greater understanding of our community and faith throughout the state. State social studies standards are revised on timelines unique to each state, and we anticipate the next social studies standards review to take place in Wisconsin in 2024.
The Sikh Coalition has also worked with other Wisconsin Sikh community leaders and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to upload new material to a statewide electronic library called WISELearn, where Wisconsin educators can access quality, standards-aligned educational resources. The content that the Sikh Coalition provided includes our educator’s guide to facilitate learning about Sikhs and Sikhi in K-12 classrooms and our Sikh Celebrations resource to share fun ways to create awareness about significant dates in our faith tradition.
“The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is committed to ensuring that every child, regardless of zip code, has access to quality public education programming, so all students can be successful. This is why we collaborate with community partners across Wisconsin to curate and create high-quality, culturally and linguistically responsive and sustaining, standards-based educational resources and professional learning materials that are representative of our pluralistic society within the WISELearn Resources,” said Tamara Mouw, Director of Operations, Innovation, and Strategic Partnerships at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. “The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is especially grateful for the Sikh Coalition who has been partnering with us to curate resources that all Wisconsin educators can access to learn and teach about the Sikh heritage.”
Finally, August 5, 2022 marks the ten-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the gurdwara in Oak Creek. The Sikh Coalition continues to work with the Wisconsin sangat as they prepare to commemorate the lives lost and forever changed on that day; we will continue to provide further updates in the weeks ahead.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.