Laura Estes surprises her former English teacher, Judi Briant, with a surprise tribute. "I was not blossoming. I was not a successful student. And I needed so badly to be seen...A lot of people saw me with their eyes, but you saw me with your heart," Laura says.
Is it appropriate – even a good thing in this time of intense political division -- for social studies teachers to bring politics, current events, and highly controversial issues into the classroom?
Diana Hess is a former social studies teacher, now Dean of the College of Education at the University of Wisconsin, and a nationally recognized expert on civic education. Drawing upon extensive research on classroom practices, she argues that in a democratic society these… Read More
A junior high school teacher, her school principal, and a teacher educator weigh in on critical questions about history and civics education in the era of fake news, social media, and heightened political pressure.
- What does high-quality history and civics education for younger students look like and how can it help protect our democracy?
- Why should teachers promote civic mindedness and not just facts about how government works?
- Should… Read More
The explosion of fake news, "hoaxes," and social media make it increasingly difficult for students to tell the difference between fact and fiction. And today's students, like the rest of us, can easily fall victim to "motivated reasoning" -- the tendency to believe what they want to believe, not what the evidence points to.
The educators in this episode discuss the challenges this poses for educators and for our democracy. They also recommend pedagogical strategies that… Read More
Panelists on this episode argue that inadequate and inequitable funding of our public schools pose a dire threat to American democracy. That's because students in under-resourced schools, those who tend to be poor and people of color, are less able to participate in the democratic process. Panelist Derek Black, author of Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and The Assault on American Democracy, claims the assault by those who want to dismantle public education is not intended… Read More
In June 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill (HB 3979) that restricts what teachers can do in public school classrooms.
- Teachers can no longer be required to participate in training about race or sex stereotyping.
- Teachers can longer promote the idea that racism or sexism in America is, or has ever been, systemic.
- It requires teachers who discuss current events to “explore the topic from contending perspectives without giving… Read More
Three civic education experts -- Joseph Kahne, Alejandra Frausto and Eve Vankley express their concerns about the current state of American democracy and explain how real-world civic engagement in schools prepares young people, regardless of their political orientation, to work together in finding the common good and to participate meaningfully in democratic life.
They also address efforts by some public officials to limit civic engagement and recommend ways that educators… Read More
This episode is part of our series on what schools can do to help save our democracy. Guests include Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz, McDonnell Professor of Character Education at the Center for Character Education and Citizenship at the University of Missouri at St. Louis; and Dr. Kashina Bell, Deputy Superintendent for the School District of University City in St. Louis, Missouri. Both talk about character education -- what it looks like, how it's done, and why it's vital to our… Read More
Bruce Stewart is a life-long educator who dedicated his career to social justice and high-quality education for all. As a history teacher and guidance counselor at Walter Hines Page Senior High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, he led the effort to desegregate the school 1963. Stewart became a Quaker educator and later served as Head of School at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. from 1998 to 2009.
In this episode, Jennifer Futernick, a former student of… Read More
Watch what happens when an 8-year-old student and a parent take the time to say "thank you" to a teacher who went above and beyond to make 1st grade exciting and special even during a pandemic.