This commentary discusses why, if education policymakers and practitioners do not have a grounding in education history, they cannot adequately meet the needs of queer/of color students. Education history in indispensable to policymakers, administrators, and practitioners in adequately educating marginalized students.
This commentary compares Japanese and US approaches for integrating technology in K-12 classroom environments. While many American schools are consumed by a haphazard race to adopt the latest gadgets and new innovations, often these devices function as little more than expensive and colorful accessories with minimal influence on existing instructional methods. In other cases, devices sit unused, collect dust, and soon become obsolete, costing thousands of dollars in upgrades. Despite Japan’s much slower pace of technology adoption, one might argue that Japanese educators are well ahead of the US in effective technology integration. Using the chalkboard and bansho (board-writing) as an example, this article describes how Japan’s slow and steady integration approach enables educators to deliberately study and build knowledge about which technologies best facilitate particular learning opportunities. The US should take note and consider a more purposeful integration strategy that emphasizes efficacy over hasty implementation.
This commentary looks at the labels "vampire," "terrorist," and "little demon," that are used to annotate a first grade teacher's class list on the first day of school. The author, a teacher educator, questions the relationship between the use of such derogatory labels and the resulting stereotypes and statistics of black boys and crime in light of recent events.
This essay examines the impact of outsourcing teacher preparation and evaluation through high stakes teacher performance assessments like edTPA. In addition to undermining teacher preparation by marginalizing the local experts best situated to evaluate candidates’ performance, this has led to a growing industry of edTPA-related services. The authors use their own experiences with edTPA “coaching” and scoring to illustrate the inevitable consequences of shifting teacher preparation and evaluation to the private sector.
This commentary discusses the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in a self-contained special education classroom.
This commentary surveys the principal issues with student loan policy in the US.
Charter schools were originally proposed as vehicles to give teachers more leadership opportunities; however, the sector has evolved to focus on empowering management over teachers, and today just 7% of charter schools are unionized. This commentary piece explores what lessons can be drawn from the experiences of charter schools, both positive and negative, and how to run schools and structure the teaching profession to build and retain strong teachers. A subset of charter schools are pioneering new avenues for empowering teachers that could be adopted in other public school settings.
This commentary answers two questions: (1) Do the articles in this issue make the case that the democratic principles and practices the authors champion have been damaged by the standards-based, testing, and accountability regime of the past three decades? and (2) In light of the historical absence of these principles and practices in mainstream U.S. public schools, why raise these arguments now?
Over creditors' objections, a bankruptcy court in Ohio discharged the student-loan debt of a single mother of two who was living below the poverty level.
Given psychologists' inability to reach a consensus on the appropriate definition of intelligence and the modest correlations between intelligence test scores and professional success, the author advocates for the potential benefits that could occur when teachers and schools drop the words intelligent and smart from classroom and school discourses.
This commentary examines the failings of American high schools.
This commentary discusses the response from local schools to use private funds to close budget gaps in Philadelphia's public schools.
This commentary traces the transition of education policy from the Bloomberg-Klein years to the current administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina a year into their tenure.
A commentary on the hidden curriculum of animals in education.
This commentary addresses turn around schools in Chicago.
The author argues that the h-index should not be used to make decision regarding tenure and promotion in the profession of education.
This discussion of the question, "Should adult educators imitate the children they teach?", draws from the ideas of contemporary psychologist Alison Gopnik and twentieth-century educational philosophers John Dewey and Dorothy Dinnerstein. Gopnik and Dewey have discussed ways in which children can be good intellectual role models for adults when it comes to spontaneity, creativity, and openness to new possibilities. Dinnerstein, however, cautions that it is dangerous not to outgrow some childhood attitudes, and particularly childish understandings of gender roles and gender relations that arise from women's domination of early childcare.
In many university classrooms, professors talk and the students pretends to listen. More educational technology is not the key to engaging the "always on" generation—the key is faculty revealing more of their humanity.
From the perspective of the higher education community, Massachusetts' highest court made a good decision when it ruled that a murder suspect had no constitutional right to privacy in his Harvard girlfriend's dorm room that would prohibit police from searching the room without a warrant.
Applying a legal perspective, this commentary argues against the use of Value Added Models (VAMs) in teacher evaluation.
This commentary is a call to teacher educators to engage in field experiences in which they are able to really see their students become future teachers. Being present to witness students problematizing pedagogy is as important for the learning of future teachers as it is for teacher educators. Presence and proximity of teacher educators to their students creates a space of unique accountability on both sides, a desire by students to demonstrate their learning as future teachers, and the recognition by teacher educators that the learning that is happening can be used to improve their own pedagogy.
Raising Hands While Black(RHWB): An African American Man's Cautionary Tale explores the concept of what raised hands represent for men of color and how this representation is often scripted in schools and society from a deficit perspective.
People who fall outside conventional conceptions of mental health are typically considered disordered, abnormal, deficient, aberrant, and mentally ill. This discursive environment produces feelings of dysphoria—the belief that one is indeed abnormal and inferior—that serve as their psychological and affective basis for self-definition in relation to the broader world. This essay argues, using Vygotsky’s (1993) work in defectology—the unfortunately named science of attending to people lacking typical human developmental traits—that adaptations by people in the environment, rather than by people of difference themselves, provides a more humane approach to addressing the needs life trajectories of the neurologically atypical. By creating a positive social updraft focused on assets rather than deficits, and inclusion rather than isolation, communities of people can help those who are different participate in social activity through which they may become valued contributors to cultural practice.
Included in this commentary is a discussion of five key problems that permeate racial identification of Indigenous students in America’s public schools.