Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    A Dialogue

    Our Selves, Our Students, and Obama

    Jennifer McLaughlin and Kim Kelly
    The following essay is a dialogue between two high school English teachers at a small, progressive public school on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Throughout their dialogue, Jen, whose voice appears in italics, and Kim, whose voice appears in plain text, discuss the factors that motivated their decisions to become teachers, tell of the distinct impact that Obama’s election has had on their practice and their students, and suggest that many students feel ambivalent about the extent to which President Obama could effect real change in their lives. The article concludes with an anecdote, suggesting that educators can engage in a process of inquiry with students to help them make connections between Obama’s election and their lives.

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    Jennifer McLaughlin teaches tenth-grade English in a New York City public school, where she has worked since 2000. She is interested in promoting twenty-firstcentury literacy and participates in the Teachers College Readers and Writers Project at Columbia University and the National Council of Teachers of English. She also leads professional workshops for teachers in New York City and at national conferences.

    Kim Kelly, a public school teacher for twelve years, teaches high school English in New York City. She develops curricula that are socially, politically, and emotionally relevant to her students’ lives. She has written a young adult novel and is coauthoring with two fellow East Side teachers a book for NCTE about authentic and alternative assessments.

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    Summer 2009 Issue


    Editors’ Introduction
    Note to Educators
    Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete
    Jeffrey M. R. Duncan-Andrade
    A Dialogue
    Our Selves, Our Students, and Obama
    Jennifer McLaughlin and Kim Kelly
    President Obama and Education
    The Possibility for Dramatic Improvements in Teaching and Learning
    Linda Darling-Hammond
    Promise and Peril
    Charter Schools, Urban School Reform, and the Obama Administration
    Charles Payne and Tim Knowles
    Reclaiming Our Freedom to Teach
    Education Reform in the Obama Era
    Megan Behrent
    Obama’s Dilemma
    Postpartisan Politics and the Crisis of American Education
    Henry A. Giroux
    Second-Class Integration
    A Historical Perspective for a Contemporary Agenda
    Vanessa Siddle Walker
    Equity and Empathy
    Toward Racial and Educational Achievement in the Obama Era
    Prudence L. Carter
    It Wasn’t Easy to Get Here
    Kathleen Mayse
    Obama, Where Art Thou?
    Hoping for Change in U.S. Education Policy
    Wayne Au
    Praise Song for Teachers
    A Call to Action
    Ariane White
    Educating Latino Immigrant Students in the Twenty-First Century
    Principles for the Obama Administration
    Carola Suárez-Orozco and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
    Education for Everyday People
    Obstacles and Opportunities Facing the Obama Administration
    Gloria Ladson-Billings
    An Insurrectionary Generation
    Young People, Poverty, Education, and Obama
    Jay Gillen
    An Earned Insurgency
    Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
    Robert P. Moses
    Barack Obama and the Fight for Public Education
    William Ayers
    Coda: The Slow Fuse of Change
    Obama, the Schools, Imagination, and Convergence
    Maxine Greene
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