Volume 36, No. 2

Winter 2021-22

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  • As States Build Barriers to Racial Justice Teaching, Educators Fight Back

    By Rachel M. Cohen

    Teachers nationwide have been standing up to register their resistance and solidarity, organizing rallies, supporting school board candidates who reject these bills, and doubling down on their own efforts to learn and teach about race.

  • How State Standards Misteach the Meaning of One of the United States’ Most Important Eras

    By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

    Wolfe-Rocca shares the results of the first-ever comprehensive review of state standards on Reconstruction, noting that Zinn Education Project researchers found that the standards fail to define the era or outline its crucial themes. The article also offers what the Zinn Education Project proposes for state and district standards.

  • Teaching Against Imperialism

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    Teaching against imperialism means teaching against the disease of racism and economic exploitation; it means teaching for equality, teaching for social health, teaching for humanity. As educators, that is the side we want to be on.

  • bell hooks: Learning as Revolution

    hooks’ influence on social justice education was so immense and so longstanding that we may not even recognize all the ways she touched our vision of the world — and our classrooms.

  • Learning from — and Mourning — James Loewen

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    Loewen left a robust collection of books, articles, interviews, and generations of teachers he inspired to teach outside the textbook.

  • Who Killed Reconstruction?

    A Trial Role Play

    By Adam Sanchez

    Sanchez describes a role play about the demise of Reconstruction that helps students get beyond the question “Was Reconstruction a success or failure?”

  • “Who Spent Two Months in Jail for Participating in the Freedom Rides?!”

    Bringing Civil Rights Activists to Life in an Elementary Classroom

    By Erin Green

    A 5th-grade teacher devises a mixer activity to help her students understand that the Civil Rights Movement was not fueled only by great leaders, but also by ordinary people who became change makers and organized with others.

  • “I Saw Eyes Begin to Widen”

    Joys, Pitfalls, and Dilemmas in Using Role Play in the Classroom

    By the Zinn Education Project

    Role plays can offer students engaging ways to learn, but require careful contextualization and follow-up. This article offers some cautions and guidance about using them. 

  • “Take These Nametags Off!”

    Disrupting Poorly Designed Classroom Role Play

    By Azizah Curry Iluore

    A doctoral student tells the story of her experience with a dangerous role play — poorly conceptualized and taught — when she was an undergrad.

  • Zinn at 100: The Scourge of Nationalism

    What Makes Our Nation Immune from the Normal Standards of Human Decency?

    By Howard Zinn

    In honor of Zinn, we are featuring a “Zinn at 100” essay in each issue of Rethinking Schools this year. This is not nostalgia. We commemorate and celebrate Zinn for his ongoing relevance in helping us think about education and activism.

  • Helping Young People Imagine a Future of Climate Solidarity

    Earth, Justice, and Our Classrooms

    By Bill Bigelow

    We need more books that celebrate young people who find themselves as they come to consciousness and commitment.

  • Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice resources: Winter 2021-22, Volume 36.2

    The best picks from Rethinking Schools for resources for your classroom and for your mind (Winter 2021-22 edition).

  • Letters: Winter 2021-22

    Dear Rethinking Schools: My name is Leslie Hiatt and I teach 5th grade in Bell Gardens, California. I want you to know how much the article “What I Wish I […]