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Being Safe in School: Lessons Learned Educators around the world generally appreciate that feeling and being safe in K12 schools is one of the essential foundations for learning and healthy development. It is only within the last forty years and, in some countries, only within the last several years that educators have recognized that the social and emotional aspects of feeling safe in school are as important as being physically safe. In fact, for a wide range of reasons, too many children and educators in the US and around the world do not feel safe at school. Although we tend to focus on the dangers of school shootings and bullying, there is a much wider spectrum of experiences that undermines K–12 students’ feelings and perceptions of safety at school. This spectrum ranges from misunderstandings, conflict, and microaggressions, to intentional verbal and/or cyber acts of being mean, cruel, and demeaning, to sexual harassment, sexual violence, and even more severe forms of violence, including shootings, homicide, and suicide.
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Studying Change Over Time: How Do We Make Shifts in Researcher Positionality Transparent? As researchers, we are instruments of our research. Who we are shapes how we frame the questions we ask, design our studies, build research relationships, and analyze our data.
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Mothering Special Needs Children in Contemporary China Across the globe, children with special needs are often depicted as tragic, welfare dependent, and undesirable. In China’s patrilineal context, handicap is widely believed to originate from the mother’s side of the ancestry, and birthing a disabled child is considered bad karma, casting a shadow over the mother’s moral and social standing.
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“I Feel Sad, and I Don’t Know Why”: Remembering to Be There for Young People As Rich and Kenny reflect on the COVID-19 crisis and the complex challenges and needs of young people, we believe it is urgent for educators, community members, and families to listen to and learn from young people and their socio-emotional needs and —perhaps more importantly—to be there for them.
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The Politics of Creating Diverse Schools Binford Middle School, a regal, grey-stone building, taking up a full city block, stands in the middle of Richmond, Virginia’s historic Fan neighborhood. This past fall, I found myself seated uncomfortably in one of the school’s built-in wooden auditorium seats for the second time in under a year—with twenty-five years between the more recent occasions and the last.
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“It’s Our Right...”: The Opportunities Gained by Helping Students of Color Practice Resisting Racism In carrying out the research for our book, Schooling for Critical Consciousness, we spent hundreds of days over four years observing the programming and practices of six public high schools explicitly committed to fostering their students’ ability to analyze, navigate, and challenge racism. One of the great pleasures of conducting this research was to observe powerful practices that other schools can surely learn from. But there are also important lessons from the ways in which these high schools sometimes inhibited their students’ attempts to actualize their learning about race and racism within the school community.
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Can Increasing Access to Computer Science Education Remedy Inequities in Tech? The failures of technology such as racial bias in health algorithms fuel an increasing animosity towards technology companies described as “techlash.” Part of the problem, many say, is a lack of racial, socioeconomic, gender, and other types of diversity and inclusion among tech companies, as well as a need for greater digital literacy among the general public to develop “active citizens in our technology-driven world.”
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Pathways to College and Careers The mantra “college and career readiness” is well on its way to supplanting “college for all.” Recognizing that the two are not identical is an improvement on the claim that as good jobs require ever more education college readiness is career readiness, a claim that has been discredited by the rise of underemployed college graduates burdened with debt. But how do educators know when students are career ready? They can see college readiness demonstrated when their students achieve academically and when their graduates enroll in college. But being able to get a job is not proof of career readiness. High school students can get jobs before they graduate, though far fewer do than in the recent past. By “career ready” most people mean able to earn a living sufficient for comfortable self-support and ideally to support a family as well, and able to continue learning over a lifetime as new demands and opportunities arise. Rare is the high school that can track its graduates long enough to make that determination. Educators are also better positioned to assess college readiness because they are college graduates themselves. To judge career readiness, they need help from experts on careers and especially from people who have made careers for themselves outside of education.
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Income Differences Alone Cannot Explain the Overrepresentation of Students of Color in Special Education Students of color—particularly, Black students—are more likely to be identified for special education than their White peers. Despite forty years of court cases, state and federal regulations, and academic journal articles focused on this issue, this disparity persists.
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Getting to the Heart of the Student Experience with Transformational Learning As we close out one decade and begin another, we are naturally drawn to review where we’ve been and imagine where we will go in a new era. For community college professionals, the past decade has been frenetic, marked by roller coaster enrollments, increased public policy attention, and multiple overlapping reforms that have left some with ‘initiative fatigue.’
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