Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2007 Issue »

    Legal Literacy for Teachers

    A Neglected Responsibility

    David Schimmel and Matthew Militello
    In this article, David Schimmel and Matthew Militello document the legal knowledge and training of teachers based on a survey of more than thirteen hundred K–12 respondents in seventeen states. The findings from this study suggest that most educators (1) are uninformed or misinformed about student and teacher rights; (2) have taken no course in school law; (3) get much of their school law information from other teachers; (4) would change their behavior if they knew more about school law; and (5) want to learn more about these issues. This article outlines the consequences of neglecting educators’ lack of legal knowledge. The authors conclude with a series of recommendations on how to promote legal literacy among teachers in both teacher certification and professional development programs.

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    David Schimmel is a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Schimmel is the author of over fifty articles and coauthor of five books about law and education, including Teachers and the Law, now in its seventh edition. He is a recipient of the Education Press Association of America’s Distinguished Achievement Award for excellence in educational journalism and the University of Massachusetts Distinguished Academic Outreach Award.

    Matthew Militello is an assistant professor and the educational administration program coordinator at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the Department of Educational Policy, Research, and Administration. Militello has been a public school teacher and administrator for more than ten years. His research interests include preservice and in-service administrative development programs, distributed instructional leadership practices, and how educational leaders utilize school data to inform leadership and pedagogical practice.

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    Fall 2007 Issue


    Legal Literacy for Teachers
    A Neglected Responsibility
    David Schimmel and Matthew Militello
    “I Was Born Here, but My Home, It’s Not Here”
    Educating for Democratic Citizenship in an Era of Transnational Migration and Global Conflict
    Thea Renda Abu El-Haj
    Surveillance Cameras in Schools
    An Ethical Analysis
    Bryan R. Warnick
    Voices for Peace: Educators Respond to the Virginia Tech Shootings

    Book Notes

    Lenses on Literacy Coaching
    By Cathy Toll

    To Remain an Indian
    By K. Tsianina Lomawaima and Teresa L. McCarty

    By Heather Andrea Williams

    Unfinished Business
    Edited by Pedro A. Noguera and Jean Yonemura Wing

    Call 1-800-513-0763 to order this issue.