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This practical book shows how veteran, justice-oriented social studies teachers are responding to the Common Core State Standards, focusing on how they build curriculum, support students' literacy skills, and prepare students to think and act critically within and beyond the classroom. In order to provide direct classroom-to-classroom insights, the authors draw on letters written by veteran teachers addressed to new teachers entering the field. The first section of the book introduces the three approaches teachers can take for teaching for social justice within the constraints of the Common Core State Standards (embracing, reframing, or resisting the standards). The second section analyzes specific approaches to teaching the Common Core, using teacher narratives to illustrate key processes. The final section demonstrates how teachers develop, support, and sustain their identities as justice-oriented educators in standards-driven classrooms. Each chapter includes exemplary lesson plans drawn from diverse grades and classrooms, and offers concrete recommendations to guide practice. This book: offers advice from experienced educators who have learned to successfully navigate the constraints of high-stakes testing and standards-based mandates; shares and analyzes curricular and pedagogical approaches to teaching the Common Core; and examines a range of philosophical and political stances that teachers might take as they navigate the unique demands of teaching for social justice in their own context.
Inspired by the author’s research and work with preservice and beginning teachers, this book presents a unique framework to help educators (grades 3–8) embed their efforts to teach social studies for social justice within the context of literacy. It is a resource for using primary and other sources to offer students new ways of thinking about history while meeting Language Arts Common Core Standards demands for information text and critical thinking. Grounded in the daily realities of today’s public schools, the framework offers a way of planning that takes into account teaching factors that include pressures for content coverage, preparing students for high-stakes tests, and the low importance placed by many districts on including social studies in the curriculum. Each chapter explains how teachers can restructure, reshape, and work with mandated curriculum materials to teach from a critical perspective. The book also discusses how to meet Common Core Standards by teaching language arts and social studies as complementary subjects. Book Features: Sample lessons. Text boxes indicating connections to Common Core Standards. Reflection exercises that help further extend concepts and understandings into classroom practice. Ruchi Agarwal-Rangnathis an adjunct professor in Elementary Education at San Francisco State University, and vice president of the National Association of Multicultural Education, California Chapter (NAME-CA). As an educational consultant she works with schools to develop and enrich their mission of teaching toward equity and social justice. “If you are a teacher, or preparing to become a teacher, this is a book you will want to keep so that you can refer back to it again and again. If you are a teacher educator, this is a book that will help you connect demands on teachers today with a compelling vision of academically rich, student-centered, social justice teaching. In either case, you are in for a treat.” —From the Foreword byChristine Sleeter, professor emeritus, California State University Monterey Bay “This is an important contribution for pre-service teachers and those in districts who are willing to think deeply about how to build content knowledge in an integrated fashion by combining social studies and language arts. Much more attention to social studies from the perspective of social justice is needed!” —Donna Ogle, professor emeritus, National-Louis University
Dedication to social justice teaching is important, yet putting one's ideals into practice in American schools is a challenging task. This book goes beyond theory and idealism to fully explore the value and impact of implementing social action and social justice activities in the elementary school classroom. Informed by the experiences of more than forty teachers across the country, this thoughtful resource: (1) examines how elementary teachers, from inner cities to rural towns, use the social studies curriculum to teach about and for social justice; (2) focuses on how teaching social studies for social justice relates to standardized testing, state curricula, and the local challenges teachers face; (3) offers classroom activities and "Reflection Exercises" and "Teaching Ideas" to provide teachers with practical applications for the topics discussed; and (4) includes a list of children's literature books, curriculum materials, and websites.
Over the past decade, the world has experienced a major economic collapse, the increasing racial inequity and highprofile police killings of unarmed Black and Brown people, the persistence of global terrorism, a largescale refugee crisis, and the negative impacts of global warming. In reaction to social instability, there are growing populist movements in the United States and across the world, which present major challenges for democracy. Concurrently, there has been a rise of grassroots political movements focused on increasing equity in relation to race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and religion. The role of social studies teachers in preparing the next generation of democratic citizens has never been more important, and the call for more social studies teacher educators to help teachers address these critical issues only gets louder. This volume examines how teacher educators are (or are not) supporting beginning and experienced social studies teachers in such turbulent times, and it offers suggestions for moving the field forward by better educating teachers to address growing local, national, and global concerns. In their chapters, authors in social studies education present research with implications for practice related to the following topics: race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration, religion, disciplinary literacy, global civics, and social justice. This book is guided by the following overarching questions: What can the research tell us about preparing and developing social studies teachers for an increasingly complex, interconnected, and rapidly changing world? How can we educate social studies teachers to “teach against the grain” (CochranSmith, 1991, 2001b), centering their work on social justice, social change, and social responsibility?
"Many teachers enter the profession with a desire to "make a difference." But given who most teachers are, where they come from, and what pressure they feel to comply with existing school policies, how can they take up this charge? Practice What You Teach follows three different groups of educators to explore the challenges of developing and supporting teachers' sense of social justice and activism at various stages of their careers: White pre-service teachers typically enrolled in most teacher education programs, a group of new teachers attempting to integrate social justice into their teaching, and experienced educators who see their teaching and activism as inextricably linked. Teacher educator Bree Picower delves into each of these group's triumphs and challenges, providing strategies and suggestions for all teachers along with her in-depth analysis. By understanding all these challenges, pre-service and in-service teachers, along with teacher educators, will be in a better position to develop the kind of political analysis that lays the foundation for teacher activism. This timely resource helps prepare and support all educators to stand up for equity and justice both inside and outside of the classroom and offers a more nuanced portrait of what the struggle to truly "make a difference" looks like"-- Provided by publisher.
Frustrated by the challenge of opening teacher education students to a genuine understanding of the social justice concepts vital for creating an equitable learning environment? Do your students ever resist accepting that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer people experience bias or oppression, or that their experiences even belong in a conversation about “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” or “social justice?” Recognizing these are common experiences for teacher educators, the contributors to this book present their struggles and achievements in developing approaches that have successfully guided students to complex understandings of such threshold concepts as White privilege, homophobia, and heteronormativity, overcoming the “bottlenecks” that impede progress toward bigger learning goals and understandings. The authors initiate a conversation – one largely absent in the social justice education literature and the discourse – about the common content- and pedagogy-related challenges that social justice educators face in their work, particularly for those doing this work in relative or literal isolation, where collegial understanding cannot be found down the hall or around the corner. In doing so they hope not only to help individual teachers in their practice, but also strengthen social justice teacher education more systemically. Each contributor identifies a learning bottleneck related to one or two specific threshold concepts that they have struggled to help their students learn. Each chapter is a narrative about individual efforts toward sometimes profound pedagogical adjustment, about ambiguity and cognitive dissonance and resistance, about trial and error, and about how these educators found ways to facilitate foundational social justice learning among a diversity of education students. Although this is not intended to be a “how-to” manual, or to provide five easy steps to enable straight students to “get” heteronormativity, each chapter does describe practical strategies that teachers might adapt as part of their own practice.
In this book, a group of student teachers share their candid questions, concerns, dilemmas, and lessons learned about how to teach for social justice and social change. This text provides powerful examples of how they integrated diversity within a teacher education program--an excellent model for educators who are seeking ways to transform their teacher education programs to better prepare teachers to work effectively in multicultural classrooms.

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