Volume 31, No.2

Winter 2016/2017

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  • What’s Your Story?

    Student identity on the walls in Philly

    By Joshua Kleiman, Charlie McGeehan

    A high school English teacher and a media arts teacher team up to teach a unit on identity. Students combine personal writing with vivid photography, creating large banners that become public art.

  • Uchinaaguchi: The Language of My Heart‰

    By Moé Yonamine

    Returning to her home country of Okinawa at 13, Moé Yonamine was hit by a teacher for speaking her Indigenous language. She reflects on the history of colonial oppression in Okinawa and the importance of keeping culture and language alive.

  • Language Is a Human Right

    An interview with veteran activist Debbie Wei on language education in the Asian American community

    By Grace Cornell Gonzales

    Educator Debbie Wei, co-founder of a folk arts-based school in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, describes her journey—from growing up as the child of Chinese immigrants who never spoke to her in their native language, to advocating for heritage language programs.

  • Sabrina’s Story

    Parents and teachers work together on inclusion

    By Kate MacLeod, Julie Causton, Nelia Nunes

    Third-grader Sabrina isn’t thriving in her self-contained special education classroom. Her parents believe that she would do better in an inclusion classroom, and they collaborate with teachers and staff to make it a success.

  • Medical Apartheid: Teaching the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

    By Gretchen Kraig-Turner

    Students in a bioethics class are horrified to learn about the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, during which African American men were denied treatment for syphilis. They draw connections to other medical injustices and write their own codes of ethics for medical research.

  • Push Out: Racial Dynamics at a Turnaround School

    By Christopher B. Knaus

    A teacher educator is hired as a mentor by a turnaround school’s new principal. He soon realizes he is being asked to cover for getting rid of an excellent teacher of color.

  • All American Boys

    An interview with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

    By Renée Watson

    Two authors collaborated to write a nuanced novel from the perspectives of two young men—Rashad, who is Black, and Quinn, who is white. The novel gives teachers a powerful tool to discuss police brutality and racism with students.

  • In Our Hands

    By The Editors of Rethinking Schools

    In the introduction to her new anthology, The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, Jesmyn Ward quotes James Baldwin: “Everything now, we must assume, is in our […]

  • “Water Is Life” Teaching for Solidarity with Standing Rock

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    Mni Wiconi—”water is life.” That has been the cry of one of the most inspiring struggles in modern U.S. history. The Standing Rock Sioux—along with Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies—have been […]

  • Betsy DeVos: Swamp Denizen Named Secretary of Education

    Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. secretary of education, is a denizen of the swamp he promised to drain. A billionaire member of the Republican right wing, she describes […]

  • Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice education resources 31.2

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    Picture Books Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds By Jorge ArguetaIllustrated by Alfonso Ruano(Groundwood Books, 2016) 36 pp. Stunning illustrations and short poems describe the beauty of life […]

  • My Night at the Planetarium

    By Rachel Cloues

    My Night in the Planetarium:A True Story About a Child, a Play, and the Art of ResistanceBy Innosanto NagaraSeven Stories Press, 2016 In difficult times, stories are vital. They are […]