Articles in this summer issue are glimpses into the classrooms of educators who are teaching for social justice, defying the notion that schooling should be reduced to test preparation and the training of “successful” workers.
Our cover article, “The Problem with Story Problems,” is from teacher educator Anita Bright, who uncovers troubling biases embedded in story problems in math textbooks—from elementary through high school levels. Bright shows how seemingly neutral math problems are anything but. Instead, they often reinforce racial and gender stereotypes, encourage students to imagine themselves as bosses, reduce workers to sources of profit, and promote consumerism and the acquisition of “stuff.” But Bright also describes how teachers are helping their students think critically about these word problems and repurpose them with more humane and ecological values. Math teachers, she writes, can “create a classroom climate where challenging the status quo is accepted, normal, and encouraged.”
And that’s just the start. Here’s the full table of contents:
By Anita Bright
A teacher educator critiques the biases of story problems in math textbooks. Teachers around the country offer creative alternatives.
By Michelle Kenney
The tale of a high school English teacher’s journey into—and out of—formulaic writing programs as her school struggles with high-stakes exams.
By Wendy Harris
Parallels in the oppressive history of residential schools for Native American and Deaf children help Deaf students better understand their history and culture.
By Greg Huntington
A teacher writes about his hopes for the person his child will become—and some of the dangers along the way.
By Michelle Nicola
Latina/o students explore the impact of African roots on Mexican culture and history.
ON THE ROAD
Schools, Land, and Peace in Colombia
By Bob Peterson
FBI Tells Schools to Spy on Students
Election Rhetoric Harms Students
Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice education resources.