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Updating the Research Paper (Part I)

By Tricia Ebarvia

       I vividly remember the pile of 3 ½ x 5 index cards I used to collect information for the dreaded junior year research paper.  I also remember my teacher, Mrs. Caum, telling us exactly how our paper needed to look, from the in-text citations to the footnotes.

      While the type of academic writing I did that year was valuable—I did, after all, become an English major—I’m not sure how authentic that experience was, then and especially today. The fact is that nothing screams “school” more than a traditional research paper, double-spaced in 12-pt Times New Roman font with an MLA heading and works cited page.  No doubt that students should know how to do that type of academic writing. But now that I find myself as the teacher who assigns that dreaded research paper, I’ve thought about ways to make the experience more meaningful for my students. Read more

Falling for Seneca Falls

By Kathleen Hall Scanlon

            When I begged to visit Seneca Falls, New York for our anniversary, my husband responded with characteristic rationality: “What’s there? Can you navigate?”

           Thus began our odyssey to the pulse of America’s Women’s Movement, Mecca to hardy feminists, home of the Women’s Hall of Fame whose raging warriors include Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells Barnett, and Frederick Douglass. Oh, you thought the US Constitution Center holds the monopoly on life-sized statues of historic giants? Au contraire! How many of us, male or female, can identify Sally Franklin Bache, Mammy Kate Heard, Wilma Mankiller, Dolores Huerta, or Daisy Bates? Read more

Herstory: Addressing the Omissions in Women’s Contributions to their Families, Country & World

By Lynne R. Dorfman

            Women’s roles are constantly changing!  As you are reading this blog post, there are women making history and baby girls being born who will be future history-makers. It is important to deliver more than half of the story as we discuss leaders, activists, agents of change, and everyday heroes with our students. While some might think that stereotypes and prejudices have vanished into thin air, they haven’t. Consider the Kappan article published this month,” Deconstructing the Pyramid of Prejudice” where author David Light Shields claims that stereotypical behavior in schools about the sexes are “…as common as pencils.” Read more

Race Talks: the bridge, the journey, the work

By Renee Jacobs

“We must teach the way students learn, rather than expecting them to learn the way we teach.”

— Pedro Noguera

      The journey of reflection on race and education for me began as a college student. I had been raised in a predominantly African-American community where 95% of the students and a high percentage of the teachers and administrators looked like and communicated similarly to my African-American family. When I made the decision to attend West Chester University in the late 80’s, the student population was approximately 10% students of color and the professors were significantly less racially diverse. Although no one attempted to make me feel different at West Chester University, I felt very alone. Read more

Empathetic Lesson Planning to Include Diverse Populations

By: K. M. Walton

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

      Can you read that for me? Could you write how you feel after you read it? Could you share any personal connections you made to the text? Do you picture anything in your mind while you read it? Would you answer a few questions about what you read?

      What’s that? You can’t do any of those things? Are you sure? I’d like you to try again. Try a little harder this time. What do you mean you still can’t do what I’m asking? What’s wrong with you? Read it again. Do you have it now?

Read more

Teaching To and For Diverse Populations

By Kathleen Hall Scanlon

“You have one weapon & one weapon only: Use it. It is your ability to teach.”  

– Alice Walker

      “My student teachers usually observe for two weeks before I give up my classes,” my 28-year-old cooperating teacher announced. I, however, expected to teach immediately. I’d just completed a stellar initial experience in Allentown after observing for a single day. As I departed Allen High, three tenth graders – two African Americans and one Latina – wished they could accompany me to Reading. I wondered why.

      “You’ll see.” Read more