Anti-racist Education: From Theory to Practice, by Julie Kailin. (Roman and Littlefield). 240 pp., $24.95. A helpful exploration of the theoretical underpinning of anti-racist education, as well as practical examples of what it looks like in schools.
In Schools We Trust: Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing and Standardization, by Deborah Meier. (Beacon Press, 2002) A powerful critique of standardized tests in the context of thoughtful proposals about how schools should function as communities in which students and adults embrace academic learning while absorbing democratic habits.
Intellectual Character: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Get It, by Ron Ritchhart. (Jossey-Bass, 2002). 302 pp. $24.95. Going to the heart of the standards/testing debate this book introduces the concept of intellectual character and examines the dispositions of curiosity, skepticism, and open-mindedness. Offering concrete classroom ideas to go well beyond traditional school curriculum, this book will challenge even the most veteran teachers to rethink their curriculum.
* Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire. (Continuum, 2002). 183 pp., $15. On its 30th anniversary, this classic text has been reprinted with a special introduction by Donaldo Macedo. “For any teacher who links education to social education, this is required reading. Freire remains the most important writer on popular education and the virtual founder of critical pedagogy.” – Stanley Aronowitz (Catalyst Center).
Racism: A Short History, by George Frederickson. (Princeton University Press, 2002). 207 pp. $22. A concise, historical survey of the two main forms of racism: white supremacy and anti-Semitism and their interconnection. This very readable book traces the evolution of religious and pseudo-scientific rationales for racism and the corresponding policies and practices of various countries.
Resisting Reading Mandates: How to Triumph with the Truth, by Elaine Garan. (Heinemann, 2002). 128 pp. $15. A powerful, accessible handbook written in question and answer format that dissects the “scientific research” on reading as outlined by the National Reading Panel. Very useful for people battling mandates and reading programs that claim to be based on “scientific research.”
* Schools with Spirit: Nurturing the Inner Lives of Children and Teachers, edited by Linda Lantieri. (Beacon Press, 2001). 182 pp., $23. Fourteen respected educators explore how schools can nurture the inner life of students without violating the beliefs of families or the separation of church and state. “This book can provide inspiration for all adults who want to have a meaningful effect on children’s lives.” – Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children’s Defense Fund.
The Skin that We Speak, edited by Lisa Delpit and Joanne Kilgour Dowdy. (New Press, 2002). 229 pp. $24.95. These 13 essays on dialect and language in the classroom by well-known educators explore issues of power, identity, and racism. An excellent resource to help educators overcome racism.
Weaving Connections, edited by Tara Goldstein and David Selby. (Sumach Press, 2000). 396 pp. Analyzes the development of peace and environmental education in Canada through an entertaining collection of articles and interviews.
What Happened to Recess and Why are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten? by Susan Ohanian. (McGraw Hill, 2002). 263 pp. $16.95. A humorous, pointed critique using classroom stories that expose the absurdity of the standardized testing craze.
High School Curricula
*Beyond the Frontier: African-American Poetry for the 21st Century, by E. Ethelbert Miller. (Black Classic Press, 2002). 572 pp., $25. More than 100 prominent African-American poets converge in Miller’s stunning anthology. Universal themes like love, race, gender, and politics are revisited through traditional poetry, spoken word works, hip-hop and beyond. Its array of voices both grounds the reader and inspires transcendence.
The Death Penalty Curriculum Project (http://teacher.deathpenaltyinfo.msu.edu), by The Death Penalty Information Center and the Michigan State Communications Technology Laboratory. Using role-playing, quick writes, written reports, learning journals, and simulations the site offers an engaging curriculum that helps students explore one of the more controversial issues facing our nation.
*Race and Membership in American History: The Eugenics Movement. Facing History and Ourselves, edited by Alan Stoskopf and Margot Stern Strom. (2002). 356 pp., $29. The best collection of readings and critical thinking for students on the eugenics movement; Chapters include “Science Fictions and Social Realities,” “Eugenics and the Power of Testing,” and “The Nazi Connection.”
60%: The Sentencing Policies of the War on Drugs and their Effects on America is a 28- minute video that looks at the relationship between public opinion and public policy in the war on drugs. Produced and distributed by The Self-Education Foundation, the video examines race, politics, and drug-sentencing laws to provide an educational tool for teachers and other community organizations interested in this subject. The video sells for $15 each or $10 for orders of five or more. For more information or to order, call (215) 386-6081.
¡Sí, Se Puedes! Yes,We Can! Janitor Strike in L.A., by Diana Cohn and illustrated by Francisco Delgado. (Cinco Puntos Press, 2002). $15.95. Through a personal story of a mother, grandmother, and young boy, this beautifully illustrated bilingual picture book honors the 8,000 L.A. janitors who, in April 2000, put down their mops and brooms and went on strike. Rich in concepts, dialogue, and dignity.
Freedom School, Yes!, by Amy Littlesugar and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. (Philomel Books, 2001). $16. Based on the 1964 Mississippi Freedom School Summer Project, this sensitively illustrated children’s book describes the struggle of a freedom school against racist attacks from the perspective of a young African-American girl.
*No More! Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance by Doreen Rappaport. (Candlewick Press, 2002). 60 pp., $18. Using true accounts, the author puts readers in the shoes of 11 extraordinary individuals and documents the many forms of slave resistance: subversion, uprisings, escape, poetry, religion, and song. Dramatic paintings by Shane W. Evans illustrate the faces and illuminate the souls of these courageous individuals.
Pablo Remembers: The Day of the Dead,by George Anacona. (Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard Printing, 1993). 42 pp. $16. Gr 2-4. Using clear prose and beautiful photographs, the story follows 12-year-old Pablo Montano Ruiz, who lives near Oaxaca, as he goes shopping for ingredients (in English and Spanish) for the special foods and ceremonies that are detailed. This intriguing book gives a different perspective on a holiday that is both perceived and marketed in the United States as a time of frightening hauntings. Good for ESL classes or multicultural studies.
Young Adult Fiction
Fresh Girl, by Jaïra Placide. (Random House, 2002). 216 pp. $15.95. An engaging novel which offers a different glimpse of immigrant life from the perspective of a Haitian teenager who is haunted by memories of a coup and repression in her home country. Middle school and up.
Racial Justice 9-11 is a national coalition of people of color organizations seeking to build the power of communities of color during a time of war. Its current projects include coordination of a “National Week of Action” during the week of September 11, 2002. Support for the event ranges from supplying groups with “No War/No Racism” posters, tshirts and other curriculum materials, media assistance, and outreach. For more information contact Eric Tang (718) 220- 7391, x. 15 or email@example.com
Skipping Stones is a nonprofit, international magazine for ages 7-17. This ad-free, ecologically aware publication encourages creativity, cooperation, and a celebration of culture through original art and writings from youth all over the world. Skipping Stones includes teaching resources and educational videos to encourage students’ understanding of social justice and peace. Subscriptions are $25/yr. for individuals and $35/yr. for institutions. (541) 342-4956 or on the website www.efn.org/~skipping/
Grassroots International (www.grassrootsonline.org) Grassroots International partners up with social justice organizations in Brazil, East Timor, Eritrea, Haiti, Mexico, and the Palestinian territories to support development alternatives through grantmaking, education, and advocacy. They offer downloadable curricula and resources called “Rethinking Security after Sept. 11.”Workshops include: “Global Security: Options Beyond War,” and “Extending Rights, Building Security.”
Children in Urban America Project describes itself as an educational tool to “help students become their own historians.” The project, developed by Marquette University, features a site full of teaching tools and learning guides for all ages that focus on images and documents about children in Milwaukee, Wis. Students and teachers can use the website to learn about race and the urbanization and suburbanization of the United States as well as health, welfare, and standardized tests. For more information, visit the website at academic.mu.edu/cuap.