Volume 36, No. 4

Summer 2022

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  • Recommitting to the Joyful Classroom

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    Joy is not an escape from the hard realities of our world, but a dive into them.

  • Reproductive Justice and Our Classrooms

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    There is no end-point in the fight for justice and equality, no moment when the argument is finally settled. As Angela Davis has said, “Freedom is a constant struggle.” Although that proposition seems exhausting, it is also hopeful. If our wins are never wholly secure, then neither must our losses be permanent. The struggle for reproductive justice continues, and our curriculum must nurture our students’ capacity to envision and participate in its next stages.

  • Don’t Despair About the Supreme Court

    By Howard Zinn

    The courts have never been on the side of justice, only moving a few degrees one way or the other, unless pushed by the people. Those words engraved in the marble of the Supreme Court, “Equal Justice Before the Law,” have always been a sham.

  • Coming Home to Ourselves

    By Cierra Kaler-Jones

    In her new book, The Spirit of Our Work: Black Women Teachers (Re)member, Cynthia Dillard (now dean of the College of Education at Seattle University) provides language for what occurs when Black women teachers discover their spiritual wisdom and identities that are part of a long historical continuum of Black women’s resistance, creativity, and ultimately, their healing.

  • To the Past, with Love

    By Kurt David

    The letters are sweet and encouraging — had they been delivered, they could have changed their recipients’ lives.

  • The Voice of a Seed

    Honoring Indigenous Voices with 1st Graders

    By Caitlin Blood

    I hope that centering Indigenous voices in the classroom and school garden will teach my students the value of Indigenous ways of knowing. As they develop an awareness of the social injustice and resilience that characterizes the stories of Indigenous peoples and their food cultures, I want them to be dissatisfied with the absence of Native narratives and seek out the voices of the tribes themselves.

  • Can a 4-Year-Old Know Her Gender Identity? Yes.

    The Importance of Supporting Gender-Expansive Students

    By Esperanza Anderson

    “Do you feel like a boy?” “No, mom. I’m a girl.” My daughter’s statement could not have been more direct, honest, and clear. In that moment I glimpsed how deeply gender-expansive people feel who they are, no matter what society has labeled them as at birth.

  • Compassion, Solidarity, Care: Detroit-Area Youth Respond to the Pandemic 

    By Julia Cuneo

    Just as workers are going to need unions, young people need to be organizing as students to make collective demands on the system as well as to meet their needs in an emergency.

  • Abbott Elementary: A Sitcom with a Conscience

    By Adam Blyweiss

    The show also reminds us that regardless of parental, administrative, and legislative warnings against bringing politics into classrooms, teaching remains a political act.

  • Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice resources: Summer 2022, Volume 36.4

    The best picks from Rethinking Schools for resources for your classroom and for your mind.

  • The Disempowering Impact of the Little People, BIG DREAMS Series

    By Paige Pagan

    Libraries and bookstores should discontinue their active promotion of this series that appears to dedicate more resources to marketing than to researching and writing effective stories about social change for young people.

  • Oakland Youth to Teachers’ Retirement System: “Divest Now!”

    By Julia Kane

    It was a letter to the CalSTRS board, demanding that they dump the pension fund’s investments in oil and gas companies. It was signed “From the many young climate justice activists who will continue to be at every one of your meetings until you divest.”