Introducing the “DFS Guide to Humanizing Schooling”


Our mission at Detroit Future Schools (DFS) is to humanize schooling in Detroit. We share what we learn from our classrooms with educators in Detroit and beyond through curriculum consultation with teachers, our annual Rida Institute, and through publications sharing our best practices.

We are excited to share the newly released Detroit Future Schools Guide to Humanizing Schooling. In these pages you will find lessons from our work in more than 30 Detroit classrooms over the past four years of DFS programming. This guide includes tools, best practices, and step-by-step curriculum planning exercises for educators and group facilitators who have a vision for transforming their classrooms.  It includes easy-to-follow interactive activities that can be used and expanded upon within classrooms, as well as supplementary diagrams and worksheets.

The Detroit Future Schools Guide to Humanizing Schooling is an updated and expanded version of the previously released Guide to Transformative Education.

The New Rida Framework

The core of the DFS Guide to Humanizing Schooling is the “Rida Framework,” a planning tool that we have developed to help teachers articulate a clear vision for bringing community context into lesson planning. The Rida Framework is inspired by Jeff Duncan Andrade’s article “Gangstas, Wankstas and Ridas.”

For the DFS Guide to Humanizing Schooling we provide an updated Rida Framework based around an interactive, five-step process, which includes:

  1. + Mapping your community context
  2. + Articulating a clear purpose statement
  3. + Creating a vision for your classroom
  4. + Identifying essential skills and practices to cultivate in your curriculum
  5. + Measuring your progress towards your purpose

The Rida Framework is not only a useful tool for educators, but also may be used by students to investigate their community context and develop their vision for the classroom.

We invite classrooms throughout Detroit and beyond to adapt and evolve these tools to make them their own.

You can purchase a copy of the DFS Guide to Humanizing Schooling here!

You can also get this resource and more DFS classroom tools as part of the DFS Rida Kit, available during the month of September only. This kit includes the following items from Detroit Future Schools:

+ 11 Essential Skills Flash Cards Set
+ 11 Essential Skills Poster
+ DFS Tote Bag
+ Guide to Humanizing Schooling