Magazine

Volume 35, No. 2

WINTER 2020–21

The winter issue of Rethinking Schools has a cover story featuring a middle school teacher who organizes a tribunal for her students on responsibility for the COVID-19 crisis in the United States. On trial are Mother Nature, Gen Z/Millennials, the Healthcare Industry, Racism and White Supremacy, the Chinese Government, the U.S. Government, and the Capitalist System. The article includes a detailed lesson plan so other teachers can replicate the activity. The issue also features a special section highlighting excerpts from the new Rethinking Schools book Teacher Unions and Social Justice including articles by Eleni Schirmer, Jen Johnson, and an interview with Angelo Gavrielatos, president of Australia’s New South Wales Teachers Union. There is also an article by a high school science teacher who helps her students explore how DNA testing is used to free innocent people from prison and how science can support justice, and an editorial from the Rethinking Schools editorial board about the hard work ahead for educators after the Trump years. And that’s just the beginning, there’s so much more!

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  • Who’s to Blame?

    My Students Hold a People’s Tribunal on the Coronavirus Pandemic

    By Caneisha Mills

    A middle school teacher organizes a tribunal for her students on responsibility for the COVID-19 crisis in the United States. Among those on trial are Mother Nature, Gen Z/Millennials, the Healthcare Industry, Racism and White Supremacy, the Chinese Government, the U.S. Government, and the Capitalist System.

  • Trump Is Gone — The Hard Work Ahead

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    In November, a clear majority of voters defeated the most authoritarian and racist presidential administration of our lifetime. But the first winter after the Trump presidency brings daunting challenges, including: […]

  • Honoring Exonerees

    Poetry and Art as a Background Activity for a DNA Electrophoresis Lab

    By Gretchen Kraig-Turner

    A high school teacher helps her students explore how DNA testing is used to free innocent people from prison and how science can support justice.

  • Moving Past the Trump Presidency — The Promise of Social Justice Teacher Unions

    By Michael Charney, Jesse Hagopian, and Bob Peterson

    The editors of the new book Teacher Unions and Social Justice: Organizing for the Schools and Communities Our Students Deserve argue that teacher unions must move beyond strategies of the past to put social justice and anti-racism at the center of their work.

  • “It’s Not Magic. It’s Organizing!”

    The Powerful Journey of North Carolina Teachers

    By Eleni Schirmer

    The inspiring story of how the social justice caucus of North Carolina’s teacher union grew to power.

  • Reparations Can Be Won — and Must Be Taught

    Lessons from the Chicago Public Schools' Reparations Won Curriculum

    By Jen Johnson

    The story of how activists, teachers, and, organizers won mandatory curriculum in the Chicago Public Schools for 8th and 10th grades about one the darkest chapters in the city’s history — the widespread torture of Black men under Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.

  • Education and Social Justice: A Global View

    An Interview with Angelo Gavrielatos

    By Bob Peterson

    Rethinking Schools editor Bob Peterson interviews Angelo Gavrielatos, president of Australia’s New South Wales Teachers Union.

  • Save Arab American Studies!

    Educators Fight for Authentic Ethnic Studies

    By Jody Sokolower

    At first it seemed that ethnic studies advocates had won a major victory in California, but then a backlash targeted Arab American studies.

  • Shape-Shifting Segregation Policies

    Using Mexican American School Segregation to Discuss Structural Racism

    By Maribel Santiago

    A teacher educator helps preservice teachers understand the history of how Mexican Americans have been racialized as Black and white at different times to keep them out of white schools.

  • Who Cares About Classroom Norms?

    Human Needs and Community Healing

    By Eric Fishman

    A school teacher and his students radically reimagine classroom “norms” by focusing on needs-based reflections.

  • Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice resources — Winter 2020–21

    Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History, The Selected Works of Audre Lorde, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks — Young Readers Edition, A Graphic Biography of Paul Robeson, Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice, We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, & Possibility, Time to Teach: A History of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, Celebrate People’s History: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution

  • A Message from the Future II: The Years of Repair

    Let’s Not Ask Our Students to “Return to Normal”

    By Tim Swinehart

    The latest installment of our regular Earth, Justice, and Our Classrooms column.