Rethinking Our Classrooms Two Volume Set

Edited by Wayne Au, Bill Bigelow, and Stan Karp,

Available in:

Paperback: $24.95

PDF E-Book: $19.95

Publication Date: February 12, 2007

ISBN: 9780942961379

Buy the combined set of the first and second volumes of this groundbreaking series for only $24.95.

Packed with useful teaching ideas for kindergarten through college, this two-volume set is a great resource for new and veteran teachers, and is widely used in teacher education and staff development programs.

Volume 1 features some of the best classroom writing we’ve published.  Essays cover:

  • Science and environmental education
  • Immigration and language
  • Military recruitment
  • Early childhood education
  • Gay and lesbian issues.

Learn more about Rethinking Our Classrooms,

Volume 1.

Volume 2 is loaded with essential articles, curriculum ideas, lesson plans and other resources grounded in the realities of the classroom. 

It is an invaluable tool for educators striving to promote social justice and high-quality student learning.

Learn more about Rethinking Our Classrooms, Volume 2.

Praise for Volume 1:

“Terrific! A dynamite collection packed with moral energy, but also very, very useful. Even more powerful, with even richer material, than the original edition. Buy hundreds of copies for your students, fellow teachers, and principals. Give some to your school board members. This is political pedagogy of the gutsy kind we almost never see these days.”

Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities and The Shame of the Nation

“A treasure trove of insights, creative activities, and valuable resources for the critical classroom, Rethinking Our Classrooms will help teachers wrestle with many of the issues we face in this new millennium from racism and gender identity to immigration phobia, global warming and the testing craze. Inspired stories of real-life classrooms make this new edition of Rethinking Our Classrooms better than ever!”

Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Praise for Volume 2:

“A vital, useful, and empowering anthology of some of the best stuff about schools I have read in 30 years. I hope it reaches the vast audience it deserves.”

Jonathan Kozol, author of Ordinary Resurrections and Savage Inequalities.

“With Volume 2, Rethinking Schools continues its bold, unflinching confrontation of vital school issues and actions. Honest and clear treatments by great authors go to the core of matters of equality and justice. Rethinking Schools continues to set the standard for advocacy for our children.”

Asa G. Hilliard III – Nana Baffour Amankwatia II, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education

Volume 1 – New Edition!

Introduction: Creating Classrooms for Equity and
Social Justice x

Part One: Points of Departure

“Lions” 2
By Langston Hughes

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us: Critiquing Cartoons and Society 3
By Linda Christensen

Rethinking ‘The Three Little Pigs’ 8
By Ellen Wolpert

10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children’s Books for Racism and Sexism 10
By the Council on Interracial Books for Children

Celebrating the Joy in Daily Events 12
By Linda Christensen

“Ode to My Socks Oda a los calcetines” 13
By Pablo Neruda

Taking Multicultural, Anti-Racist Education Seriously 15
An interview with Enid Lee

“My Hair Is Long” 18
By Loyen Redhawk Gali

Part Two: Rethinking My Classroom

Race and Respect Among Young Children 20
By Rita Tenorio

Holding Nyla: Lessons from an Inclusion Classroom 25
By Katie Kissinger

Teaching for Social Justice: One Teacher’s Journey 28
By Bob Peterson

Songs That Promote Justice 33
By Bob Peterson

“Forgiving My Father” 35
By Justin Morris

Playing with Gender: Lessons from an Early Childhood Center 36
By Ann Pelo

The Challenge of Classroom Discipline 41
By Bob Peterson

Helping Students Deal with Anger 43
By Kelley Dawson Salas

Building Community from Chaos 47
By Linda Christensen

Discipline: No Quick Fix 53
By Linda Christensen

“Honeybees” 55
By Paul Fleischman

Teaching About Global Warming in Truck Country 57
By Jana Dean

Students Use Math to Confront Overcrowding 63
By Erin E. Turner and Beatriz T. Font Strawhun

Getting Off the Track: Stories from an Untracked Classroom 68
By Bill Bigelow

“what the mirror said” 76
By Lucille Clifton

Part Three: Teaching Ideas

Using Pictures to Combat Bias 78
By Ellen Wolpert

My Mom’s Job Is Important 80
By Matt Witt

Father Was a Musician 83
By Dyan Watson

There’s More to Heroes Than He-Man 84
By Marcie Osinsky

The Military Recruitment Minefield 85
By Bill Bigelow

Coping with TV: Some Lesson Ideas 93
By Bob Peterson

What Do We Say When We Hear ‘Faggot’? 95
By Leonore Gordon

Learning from Worms 97
By Rachel Cloues

The Organic Goodie Simulation 100
By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond

World Poverty and World Resources 103
By Susan Hersh and Bob Peterson

Math, SATs, and Racial Profiling 106
By Eric Gutstein

The Day Sondra Took Over: Helping Students Become Self-Directed 109
By Cynthia M. Ellwood

Little Things Are Big 113
By Jesús Colón

Haiku and Hiroshima: Teaching About the Atomic Bomb 114
By Wayne Au

Students as Textbook Detectives: An Exercise in Uncovering Bias 116
By Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson

What Can Teachers Do About Sexual Harassment? 118
By Ellen Bravo and Larry Miller

Flirting vs. Sexual Harassment: Teaching the Difference 121
By Nan Stein and Lisa Sjostrom

Celebrating the Student’s Voice 124
By Linda Christensen

“Rayford’s Song” 125
By Lawson Inada

Promoting Social Imagination Through Interior Monologues 126
By Bill Bigelow and Linda Christensen

“Two Women” 128

Role Plays: Show, Don’t Tell 130
By Bill Bigelow

Testing, Tracking, and Toeing the Line: A Role Play on the Origins of the Modern High School 133
By Bill Bigelow

‘Salt of the Earth’ Grounds Students in Hope 141
By S. J. Childs

“The Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr.” 144
By Nikki Giovanni

Part Four: Rethinking Our Assumptions

My Dirty Little Secret: Why I Don’t Grade Papers 146
By Linda Christensen

Expectations and ‘At-Risk’ Children: One Teacher’s Perspective 151
By L. C. Clark

Teachers and Cultural Styles 152
By Asa G. Hilliard III

Teaching Standard English: Whose Standard? 154
by Linda Christensen

Seeing Color 158
By Lisa Delpit

When Small Is Beautiful 161
An interview with Héctor Calderón

I Won’t Learn from You! Confronting Student Resistance 165
By Herbert Kohl

Food Is Not for Play 167
By Jean Hannon

The Politics of Children’s Literature: What’s Wrong with the Rosa Parks Myth 168
By Herbert Kohl

“In Memory of Crossing the Columbia” 172
By Elizabeth Woody

Heather’s Moms Got Married: Creating a Gay- and Lesbian-Friendly Classroom 173
By Mary Cowhey

Thoughts on Teaching Native American Literature 175
By Joseph Bruchac

Why Students Should Study History 179
An interview with Howard Zinn

History Book Resources 182
By Howard Zinn

“To the Young Who Want to Die” 186
By Gwendolyn Brooks

Part Five: Beyond the Classroom

Why We Need to Go Beyond the Classroom 188
By Stan Karp

“Rebellion Against the North Side” 194
By Naomi Shihab Nye

Teachers Teaching Teachers 195
By Linda Christensen

Equity Claims for NCLB Don’t Pass the Test 200
By Stan Karp

Why Standardized Tests Are Bad 203
By Terry Meier

“Lineage” 205
By Margaret Walker

Students Mobilize for Immigrant Rights 206
By Ryan Knudson and Al Levie

Part Six: Resources

Poetry Teaching Guide 212
By Linda Christensen

Videos 215
By Bill Bigelow and Linda Christensen

Video Teaching Strategies 216
By Bill Bigelow and Linda Christensen

Books for Young People 219

Curricula and Teaching Resources 224

Periodicals 228

Organizations 229

Poetry Credits 231

Index 232

Volume 2:

Introduction 1
The Power of Words 5

The Power of Words

Where I’m From: Inviting Students’ Lives into the Classroom 6
by Linda Christensen

“Where I’m From” 6
by George Ella Lyon

“I Am From Soul Food and Harriet Tubman” 8
by Lealonni Blake

“I Am From Pink Tights and Speak Your Mind” 9
by Djamila Moore

“I Am From . . .” 10
by Oretha Storey

“I Am From Swingsets and Jungle Gyms” 10
by Debby Gordon

An International Proverbs Project 11
by Jim Cummins and Dennis Sayers

“Race” 15
by Cang Dao

For My People 16
by Linda Christensen

What Color Is Beautiful? 18
by Alejandro Segura-Mora

Ebonics and Culturally Responsive Instruction 22
by Lisa Delpit

Exploring Black Cultural Issues 27
by Bakari Chavanu

“Ode to Writing” 31
by Jessica Rawlins

“I am Proud to Be Bilingual” 32
by Monica Thao

The Power of the Past

Unsung Heroes 34
by Howard Zinn

Teaching About Unsung Heroes 37
by Bill Bigelow

Discovering the Truth about Helen Keller 42
by James Loewen

On the Road to Cultural Bias 45
by Bill Bigelow

Fiction Posing as Truth 57
by Debbie Reese, et al.

Rethinking the U.S. Constitutional Convention: A Role Play 63
by Bob Peterson

A New U.S. Bill of Rights 70
by Larry Miller

“Waiting at the Railroad Cafe” 72
by Janet Wong

A Lesson on the Japanese-American Internment 73
by Mark Sweeting

“In Response to Executive Order 9066” 75
by Dwight Okita

What the Tour Guide Didn’t Tell Me 76
by Wayne Au

The Power of Critique

Ten Chairs of Inequality 82
by Polly Kellogg

Teaching Math Across the Curriculum 84
by Bob Peterson

Percent as a Tool for Social Justice 89
by Bob Peterson

The Human Lives Behind the Labels 91
by Bill Bigelow

“The Stitching Shed” 100
by Tho Dong

Bias and CD-ROM Encyclopedias 101
by Bob Peterson

Where’s the ‘R’ Word? 105
by Bob Peterson

Girls, Worms, and Body Image 107
by Kate Lyman

Math, Maps, and Misrepresentation 112
by Eric Gutstein

The Power of Social Action

“We Had Set Ourselves Free” 116
by Doug Sherman

From Snarling Dogs to Bloody Sunday 119
by Kate Lyman

Mississippi Freedom Schools 126
by David Levine

Improvs and Civil Rights 134
by Bill Bigelow

The Poetry of Protest 135
by Linda Christensen

“Jorge the Church Janitor Finally Quits” 136
by Martín Espada

A Bill of Rights for Girls 138
by Mary Blalock

The Trial 140
by Kate Lyman

Students Blow the Whistle on Toxic Oil Contamination 144
by Larry Miller and Danah Opland-Dobs

“Garbage” 146
by Bill Steele, Mike Agranoff, and Pete Seeger

AIDS “You Can Die From It” 149
by Kate Lyman

“at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation, south carolina, 1989” 154
by Lucille Clifton

Rethinking School Culture

When Things Turn Ugly 156
by Donn Harris

Rethinking Discipline 160
by Jehanne Helena Beaton

Creating Classroom Community 163
by Beverly Braxton

A Mother Speaks Out 167
by Leslie Sadasivan

Teaching the Whole Story 168
by Kate Lyman

Playing Favorites 176
by Mara Sapon-Shevin

Black Teachers on Teaching 181
by Michele Foster

School System Shock 186
by Melony Swasey

Arranged Marriages, Rearranged Ideas 188
by Stan Karp

Out Front 194
by Annie Johnston

Staying Past Wednesday 199
by Kate Lyman

“Earth’s Last Cry” 202
by Rachel M. Knudsen

Rethinking Assessment

Why the Testing Craze Won’t Fix Our Schools 204
by the Editors of Rethinking Schools

Basketball and Portfolios 207
by Linda Christensen

One Size Fits Few 211
by Susan Ohanian

Tracking and the Project Method 214
by Bob Peterson

Motivating Students to do Quality Work 219
by Bob Peterson

Resources 225

Poetry Teaching Guide 240
by Linda Christensen

Index 242