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  Chapter 1
  Chapter 2
  Chapter 3
  Chapter 4
  Chapter 5
  Chapter 6
  Chapter 7
  Chapter 8
  Chapter 9
  Chapter 10
  Chapter 11
  Chapter 12
CCVLC Teachers/ Paolo Freire Posters
Digging Deeper: Chapter 8
Classrooms as Communities: Developing Caring, Democratic Relationships

Further Reading

  • Antonia Darder holds the Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair in Ethics and Moral Leadership in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. She also is Professor Emerita of Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In Culture and Power in the Classroom: A Critical Foundation for Bicultural Education (Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1991), Darder offers principles for a critical practice of bicultural education. Darder’s critical perspective helps teachers evaluate their current practices. One of Darder’s more recent books is the award-winning Reinventing Paulo Freire: A Pedagogy of Love (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2002). In it, she explores the legacy of Freire, interviews eight of his former students who are now teachers themselves, and reflects on Freire’s own teaching practice.
  • Education writer and social critic Herbert Kohl, a former teacher, has written many engaging books that tell compelling stories about teachers’ work with students in difficult life circumstances. One of his books, I Won’t Learn from You and Other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment (New York: The New Press, 1994), includes essays and stories about responses to situations where, in Kohl’s words, “students’ intelligence, dignity, or integrity are compromised by a teacher, an institution or a larger social mind-set.”
  • One of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s books, The Essential Conversation: What Parents and Teachers Can Learn From Each Other (New York: Random House, 2003) addresses the conversations parents and teachers have about their children, most frequently during parent-teacher conferences. She discusses how and why parents may feel uncomfortable and even powerless in these conversations and how teachers can be respectful partners with their students’ families.
  • In addition to his writing on assessment, noted in the Digging Deeper section of Chapter 6, Alfie Kohn has written about democratic and respectful communities in schools and classrooms. Teachers may find the following especially useful: The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and “Tougher Standards” (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1999); What to Look for in a Classroom . . . And Other Essays (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998); and Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community (Reston, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1996).
  • Gloria Ladson-Billings is professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her best-selling book, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1994), describes, through narratives about real teachers in urban classrooms, the success of culturally relevant pedagogy. In 2001, Ladson-Billings published Crossing Over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms (San Francisco, Jossey-Bass), a book about preparing novice teachers to succeed with all students in multicultural classrooms.
  • Emeritus education professor Nel Noddings of Stanford University wrote The Challenge to Care in Schools: An Alternative Approach to Education (New York: Teachers College Press, 1992). In it, she lays out the conceptual underpinnings for viewing teaching as creating cultures of care.
  • Vivian Gussin Paley, a kindergarten teacher to whom the MacArthur Foundation gave one of its prestigious “genius” awards, published her first book, White Teacher, in 1979. It has been followed by several others, each addressing fundamental issues of classroom life—children’s development, racism, gender, and what it feels like to be the outsider, to be “different.” These highly readable books (all published by Harvard University Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts) include You Can’t Say You Can’t Play and Kwanzaa and Me. The books describe her compelling strategies for building the curriculum and classroom community around the knowledge and traditions of her students’ families and neighborhoods.
  • Angela Valenzuela’s book Subtractive Schooling chronicles what happens when schools disrespect students' cultural heritage and when teachers fail to listen to students.

Websites to Peruse

  • Rethinking Schools publishes a newspaper regularly, books occasionally, and other materials for teachers seeking critical analyses of education issues and pedagogical practices that reflect social justice values. Of particular relevance for the issues in this chapter are both volumbes of the book Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Social Justice. Begun by a group of Milwaukee-area teachers who wanted to help shape education policy and reform, Rethinking Schools has become a resource for readers nation-wide—a resource that reflects a commitment to equity and a vision of public education as central to a humane, caring, multiracial democracy.
  • Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) was founded as a volunteer group in Boston in 1990. It has since grown into one of the nation's leading voices for equality and safety in the educational system. Specifically, the organization works to ensure safe schools for all students, particularly those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where differences of all kinds are valued.

Resources for Teaching

  • Teaching Tolerance is a project of The Southern Poverty Law Center. This organization offers a wide range of educational tools including current events, classroom activities, videos, written material as well as a magazine for teachers interested in teaching racial tolerance. The site also has resources for parents, teenagers, and kids.
  • The Bridging Multiple Worlds Alliance focuses on how youth forge their personal identities by coordinating cultural and family traditions with those of their schools, communities, and work. Catherine Cooper and her team have built a “toolkit” for educators to use with students to enhance the schools’ and students’ successful bridging of multiple worlds. The toolkit is online.
  • Responsive Classroom is an approach to community building and classroom culture that focuses on positive social interactions. Rules in School (Greenfield, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children, 2011),by Kathryn Brady, Mary Beth Forton, and Deborah Porter, focuses on creating classroom rules with students that lead to positive behavior and academic learning. Additional publications and resources can be found online: .
  • Tribes Learning Community focuses on creating a collaborative classroom and school community so that all students are respected and supported, leading to improved opportunities to learn. Through Tribes, students learn how to work together cooperatively and collaboratively. Reaching All by Creating Tribes Learning Communities (Windsor, CA: Center Source Systems, 2006)by Jeanne Gibbs and Engaging All by Creating High School Learning Communities (Windsor, CA: Center Source Systems, 2008), by Jeanne Gibbs and Teri Ushijima, are two useful resources.
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