Mojang Studios has announced the first lesson in Minecraft's "Good Trouble: Social Justice Movements Around the World" learning series. The first episode will debut next Thursday, November 5th, completely free for people to check out both the in-game Minecraft Marketplace and in Minecraft: Education Edition. According to the info provided, the content is designed to help educators "explore important ideas with students, including social justice and fair and equal participation in society, and allow learners to join the conversation." Using the game as a way to convey those lessons is a brilliant way of getting the information across in a positive form. In the lesson, students will meet Civil Rights Leader and US Congressman John Lewis and learn about his philosophy and the story of his life. They'll also go around the world and through history to meet leaders of social justice movements. We have more info on the first episode below.
The first Good Trouble lesson was developed in partnership with three educators from the US with over 40 years of experience between them: Felisa Ford, Natasha Rachell, and Ken Shelton. This material also relied on support from Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center that provides free resources to support social justice and anti-bias education in K–12 schools. In this activity, students will meet Congressman Lewis to learn about his philosophy and the story of his life. Then they'll join him on a journey around the world and back in time to meet leaders of social justice movements who have had an impact on millions of lives.
- Students begin in modern-day America at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest where they'll learn about the movement.
- Next, they encounter Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan to learn about her courageous stand against the Taliban's ban on girls' education.
- Then students will travel to South Africa in the 1990s to meet Nelson Mandela and learn about apartheid.
- From there, students will visit crucial moments in 1960s segregation-era America to meet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the activists behind the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins before visiting the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
- Further back in time, learners will travel to colonial India to encounter Mahatma Gandhi.
- From India, students will visit Victorian-era London to meet Emmeline Pankhurst, who caused good trouble in her drive for women's voting rights.
- The tour ends back on Black Lives Matter Plaza, where John Lewis stands alone, asking students to reflect on the social justice movements they've seen and answer his challenge to become a catalyst for good trouble in their own communities.