I found two articles in the latest issue of Rethinking Schools (Summer 2011), and I thought I'd share their direct links so other people can more easily access them if they like.

The first one is titled "Shhh!! No Opinions in the Library" by Amanda Vender. Vender is one of the founders of a free progressive paper for children called IndyKids, and she talks about the paper's difficulties trying to convince public libraries to carry the publication because it highly political and progressive. What I found interesting in the article is that Vender talks about how many publications for kids have specific interpretative political lenses and frameworks for the articles and advertising included (though not in those exact terms), but the publications do not explicitly state they are coming from a particular political framework. She gives the example of Boys' Life containing an advertisement that offered a free membership to the National Rifle Association without explicitly stating to the reader its conservative leanings.

In the second article "Teaching Budget Cuts to Third Graders," Dale Weiss tells his experience trying to explain the effects of budget cuts to his class. I thought it was a really great example of a teacher bringing a directly relevant topic to the students' lives to teach them about social activism. I think there are a number of ways Weiss could have integrated the topic into all of the content areas and really take advantage of the opportunity, but it appeared to be a big learning experience for both the students and teacher.

Vender on IndyKids: http://rethinkingschools.org/archive/25_04/25_04_vender.shtml

Weiss on teaching social activism: http://rethinkingschools.org/archive/25_04/25_04_weiss.shtml

And here's a link to the IndyKidswebsite: http://indykids.net/main/



I absolutely love this article on "Making Numbers Count". In it the author uses the math class to teach math concepts while addressing some challenging issues. Use the link:
http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-33-spring-2008/making-numbers-count
It is exactly what I was asking about this morning in trying to integrate social justice issues into the mathematics curriculum.
-Serge

http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/25_04/25_04_gym.shtml (Refers to the issue of Tiger Moms. Good look at education in different cultures)
http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/25_02/25_02_sokolower.shtml (Really relevant considering last night's reading about the issue of sexuality in schools. One teacher's story of coming out to her class.)