Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2023 Issue »

    Distracting, Erasing, and Othering

    A Critical Analysis of the Teachers Pay Teachers’ Teach for Justice Collection

    Katy Swalwell, Noreen Naseem Rodríguez, Amy Updegraff, and Leslie Ann Winters
    In this article authors Katy Swalwell, Noreen Naseem Rodríguez, Amy Updegraff, and Leslie Ann Winters share findings from their critical content analysis of the free preK–5 resources for antiracist, social justice teaching in the Teachers Pay Teachers’ Teach for Justice collection. Using Picower’s (2012) six elements of social justice curriculum design, as well as guidelines and suggestions offered to content creators in this online curriculum marketplace, the authors found that the materials in the sample lacked accuracy, avoided clarity, and promoted thin conceptions of social justice and antiracism. They claim that, in general, the collection subverts traditions of social justice and antiracist education by erasing power dynamics, distracting students’ attention away from oppression, and othering BIPOC students. They conclude with a call for educators to avoid the collection and to instead invest in high-quality vetted resources as well as professional development that helps them sharpen their critical capacities around curricular resources.
    Katy Swalwell (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8529-6108) is an education consultant who specializes in supporting justice and equity work in schools. Her most recent books are Social Studies for a Better World: An Anti-Oppressive Approach for Elementary Educators (Norton, 2021), with coauthor Noreen Naseem Rodríguez, and Anti-Oppressive Education in “Elite” Schools: Promising Practices and Cautionary Tales from the Field (Teachers College Press, 2021), with coeditor Daniel Spikes. In addition to her consulting and writing, Swalwell has been a classroom teacher, teacher educator, and tenured professor.

    Noreen Naseem Rodríguez (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0798-0155) is an assistant professor in the Teacher Learning, Research, and Practice program in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she is also affiliate faculty in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Her research engages critical race frameworks to explore the pedagogical practices of teachers of color and the teaching of so-called difficult histories through children’s literature and primary sources. Her scholarship has been published in journals like Curriculum Inquiry, Research in the Teaching of English, Theory & Research in Social Education, The Reading Teacher, and Journal of Children’s Literature, and she is the coauthor (with Katy Swalwell) of Social Studies for a Better World: An Anti-Oppressive Approach for Elementary Educators (Norton, 2021) and coeditor (with Amanda Vickery) of Critical Race Theory and Social Studies Futures: From the Nightmare of Racial Realism to Dreaming Out Loud (Teachers College Press, 2022). Before becoming a teacher educator, Rodríguez was a bilingual elementary teacher in Austin, Texas, for nine years.

    Amy Updegraff (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0786-4613) is an assistant professor of education at Upper Iowa University in Des Moines. Her current research is focused on educational technology and activism in the K–12 setting. Previously she was a research and teaching assistant at Iowa State University and, for fifteen years, a classroom teacher in a K–5 setting.

    Leslie Ann Winters (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2869-8394) is a doctoral candidate in the Human Development and Family Studies program at Iowa State University. Her research centers on critical race parenting (ParentCrit) and racial socialization, and her dissertation focuses on how African American children’s literature is used as a tool to teach preschool-age children about themselves in relation to the current social-political world. Before beginning her doctoral work, Winters worked in family housing at Iowa State University in Ames.
  2. Spring 2023 Issue

    Abstracts

    The Feminist Teacher’s Dilemma
    Faculty Labor and the Culture of Sexual Violence in Higher Education
    Stephanie R. Larson
    Global Flows and Critical Cosmopolitanism
    A Longitudinal Case Study
    Catherine Compton-Lilly and Margaret R. Hawkins
    Public Goods, Private Goods, and School Preferences
    Leslie K. Finger and David M. Houston
    Norms of Convivencia as Practices of Abjection
    Saving the Nation by Saving the Muslim Girl
    Belén Hernando-Lloréns
    Distracting, Erasing, and Othering
    A Critical Analysis of the Teachers Pay Teachers’ Teach for Justice Collection
    Katy Swalwell, Noreen Naseem Rodríguez, Amy Updegraff, and Leslie Ann Winters

    Book Notes

    Cancel Wars
    Sigal R. Ben-Porath

    Algorithms of Education
    Kalervo N. Gulson, Sam Sellar, and P. Taylor Webb

    Right Where We Belong
    Sarah Dryden-Peterson