Amy Halpern-Laff

Savage inequalities: How school funding intentionally privileges white, wealthy communities (Encore)

Zahava Stadler, Policy Director of EdBuild, explains how housing discrimination and state funding policies disadvantage Black and low-income districts. EdBuild has reported on funding schemes throughout the country, documenting a $23 billion annual funding gap between White districts and districts of color. Ms. Stadler describes how states could allocate education dollars more equitably, benefitting at least 70% of students.

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Transcript of the episode “Addressing teachers’ trauma; plus, antiracist teaching in a white classroom”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Shayla Ewing. Ms. Ewing is the English department chairperson and a drama teacher at Pekin Community High School in Pekin, Illinois. She was a 2020-21 Teach Plus Illinois Senior Fellow. We’ll be discussing…

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Addressing teachers’ trauma; plus, antiracist teaching in a white classroom

We speak with Shayla Ewing, English and drama teacher in Pekin, Illinois, about supporting teachers experiencing secondary and primary trauma, which the pandemic intensified. We also talk about the how and why of teaching about white privilege in an all-white classroom.

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Transcription of the episode “Authentic history: Too uncomfortable for white kids?”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Betty Collins. Ms. Collins teaches eighth grade history in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. We’re going to talk about the controversy about teaching critical race theory. The phrase critical race theory, coined by Kimberle Crenshaw,…

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Authentic history: Too uncomfortable for white kids?

We speak with Betty Collins, eighth grade teacher in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Ms. Collins speaks about conservatives’ hostility to Critical Race Theory, which looks at the role of systemic racism in US history. We discuss a just-enacted law in Oklahoma that tries to ban teaching history that may make any students “uncomfortable” and how unions and educators are responding.

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Transcription of the episode “Holistic Education: Joy, wellness, and rigor”

Jon M: [00:00:15] I’m Jon Moscow.  Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Our guest today is Dr. Linda Nathan. Dr. Nathan is Executive Director of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship and Co-Director of Perrone-Sizer Institute. She’s an adjunct lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education and is the author of two books, “The…

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Holistic education: Joy, wellness, and rigor

We speak with Dr. Linda Nathan of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship and the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership about her experience in creating progressive schools. Dr. Nathan says all teachers, no matter their subject areas, should have expertise in teaching reading and students with moderate disabilities. The arts are central to her educational vision. Dr. Nathan talks about how to achieve predictable and collaborative authentic assessment of student work and how to deal with standardized test requirements when necessary. She also describes why “grit” is not enough for student success when students are caught in the insidious web of a racist system.

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Transcript of the episode “Creating antiracist classrooms: Listening and other essential skills”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow.  Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Steven Cohen, Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Education in the Department of Education, Tufts School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Cohen taught high school history for two decades. He’s been at Tufts…

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Creating antiracist classrooms: Listening and other essential skills

We speak with Dr. Steven Cohen of Tuft’s Department of Education about helping teachers to think critically about race and class.. He talks about the importance of listening to students over time, even watching the media they watch, to get a better understanding of their life experiences. He describes how to create fair strategies for resolving conflicts and for grading and he explains how to introduce complex subject matter in ways that students find relevant.

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Transcript of the episode “Critical analysis: not just for students”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Today we welcome Dr. Sam Abrams back to the show. Sam directs the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He  is the author of “Education and the Commercial Mindset” and…

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Transcription of the episode “Building communities of trust: transforming family-school relationships”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff.  Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Ann Ishimaru, Associate Professor in the Educational Policy, Organizations, and Leadership Program at the University of Washington College of Education. She’s the author of Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities,…

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Building communities of trust: transforming family-school relationships

We talk with Dr. Ann Ishimaru of the University of Washington about correcting the power imbalance between schools and low-income families and families of color. We also discuss “learning loss” and why families of color are much more reluctant than white families to return to in-person learning as the pandemic eases.

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Research in schools (Part 2): Safeguarding the data

We continue our conversation with Marianna Azar, director of NYC Department of Education’s Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). This week, Ms. Azar discusses the potential privacy dangers created by collection and dissemination of research data, strategies to combat them, and the need to strengthen the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

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Transcription of the episode “Ethical outreach: a parent coordinator anchors immigrant families”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest is Herminia Saldana, known as  Ita, parent coordinator at  MS 328,a middle school in Washington Heights in Manhattan. Her comments today represent her own views, and she is  not speaking as a representative of the Department…

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Ethical outreach: a parent coordinator anchors immigrant families

We speak with Herminia (Ita) Saldana, parent coordinator at MS 328, a middle school in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Every public school in NYC has a parent coordinator. Virtually all of the MS 328 students are current English Language Learners or have tested out of ELL status. As parent coordinator, Ita encourages and facilitates parent engagement as both advocate and navigator. She also helps recent immigrant families to access all kinds of community services as they adapt to life in NYC.

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Transcription of the episode “Grief and loss: Supporting students, families, and teachers in a pandemic (encore)”

Amy H-L: [00:00:01] As of today, March 31st, 2021, over 550,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. We’re reposting our conversation with Cynthia Trapanese former grief counselor, now teacher, who explains that the adults in a school need to grapple with their own losses in order to help children and families. Amy H-L: [00:00:39] Hi. I’m…

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Grief and loss: Supporting students, families, and teachers in a pandemic (encore)

As of today, March 31st, 2021, over 550,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. We’re reposting our conversation with Cynthia Trapanese former grief counselor, now teacher, who explains that the adults in a school need to grapple with their own losses in order to help children and families.

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Transcription of the episode “Shared visions: Creating an abolitionist school culture”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Today we welcome back Grace Alli Brandstein. This is the second of a two part interview. Ms. Brandstein is a school improvement and instructional coach for the New York City Department of Education, supporting high schools in…

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Shared visions: Creating an abolitionist school culture

We continue our conversation with Grace Alli Brandstein, a school improvement and instructional coach supporting struggling high schools in the Bronx. This week, Ms. Brandstein focuses on humane, antiracist education, and explains Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s construct of literacy as identity, skills, intellect, criticality, and joy. She also speaks about the conditions for successful adult learning, giving teachers the training they need to lead one another and the space to coalesce around a shared vision, expectations, and protocols.

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Transcription of the episode “Toward antiracism: The evolution of an undergraduate teacher ed program”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Marsha Daria, a professor in the Department of Education and Educational Psychology at Western Connecticut State University. Dr. Daria teaches undergraduate courses in social studies, curriculum, and child development. Her research interests include…

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Toward antiracism: The evolution of an undergraduate teacher ed program

We speak with Dr. Marsha Daria of Western Connecticut State University. Dr. Daria teaches undergraduate courses in the Department of Education and Educational Psychology. She explains how in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, the department reconfigured its curriculum to center social justice, equity, and self-reflection. She discusses the department’s recruitment initiatives to increase teacher candidate diversity.

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Transcript of the episode “Antiracist school leadership: Courage and commitment”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon  Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Bradley Carpenter, an associate professor of educational leadership at Baylor University. A former teacher, assistant principal, and principal, Dr. Carpenter has a passion for working with public school administrators. His research focuses on…

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Antiracist school leadership: Courage and commitment

Dr. Bradley Carpenter, associate professor of educational leadership at Baylor University, speaks about developing and supporting antiracist school principals. Very few leadership prep programs prioritize or embed antiracism principles or practices. A principal committed to centering antiracism needs to have a full equity audit of existing curriculum and practices and to lead faculty members through the emotionally laborious process of examining everyone’s own privileges…

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Transcription of the episode “Student record privacy: Danger looms from police and hackers”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Mark Lieberman, a reporter for Education Week covering technology and online learning. Recently, Mark wrote about a controversial arrangement between the school district and the sheriff’s department in Pasco County on Florida’s West Central…

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Student record privacy: Danger looms from police and hackers

We speak with Mark Lieberman, Education Week tech reporter. Pasco County FL schools give the sheriff records of students deemed “destined to a life of crime.” NYS Education Department funded facial recognition of school visitors to schools. Hackers hold district data hostage for ransom. We discuss legal and ethical privacy issues in the age of tech, including the dilemmas for teachers if a “D” leads to a police database.

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Transcription of the episode “Systemic racism in special education: Parent participation legitimizes inequities”

Jon M: [00:00:15] I’m Jon Moscow.  Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Today, we continue our conversation with Dr. LaToya Baldwin Clark, assistant professor at UCLA School of Law, where she writes about race, parenting, and educational stratification. Dr. Baldwin Clark earned a BS in economics from the Wharton School,…

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Systemic racism in special education: Parent participation legitimizes inequities

We continue our conversation with LaToya Baldwin Clark of UCLA School of Law. Dr. Baldwin Clark explains how the special education system advantages White middle class families. Poor families and families of color tend to lack cultural capital to navigate the system and advocate effectively for their children. While resources flow to White children with special needs, Black children tend to be stigmatized and placed…

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Transcription of the episode “Supporting English Learners: pandemic and post-pandemic solutions”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Julie Sugarman. Dr. Sugarman is Senior Policy Analyst for pre-K through 12 Education at the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, where she focuses on issues related to immigrant and…

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Supporting English Learners: pandemic and post-pandemic solutions

We speak with Dr. Julie Sugarman of the Migration Policy Institute about meeting the needs of English Learners. We discuss the meaning and implications of ELs “falling behind” during virtual instruction and difficulties administering upcoming English language proficiency tests. Dr. Sugarman talks about a model for incorporating ELs into planning. She also talks about what is lost (and gained) through technology, given the importance of personal relationships to teaching and learning.

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Dodging responsibility for our children: Reducing learning to test scores

We speak with Samuel E. Abrams of Teachers College, Columbia University. The root problems in K12 education — including poverty-related stress and underpaid and underprepared teachers — are pervasive and expensive to fix. So instead, the U.S. has  adopted a “commercial mindset,” measuring success through standardized test scores and increasingly outsourcing school management to for-profit and nonprofit corporations. Dr. Abrams explains what we can…

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Transcript of the episode “Dodging responsibility for our children: Reducing learning to test scores”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m  Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Samuel E. Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Abrams is the author of “Education and the Commercial Mindset” and is…

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Transcription of the episode “Abolitionist education: Creating liberatory spaces (Part Two)”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy-Halpern-Laff Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. This is the second of a two-part interview with Dr. Edwin Mayorga, Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and the Program in Latin American and Latino Studies at Swarthmore College. Dr. Mayorga is founder and co-researcher of…

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Abolitionist education: Creating liberatory spaces (Part Two)

We continue our conversation with Dr. Edwin Mayorga of Swarthmore College. We discuss the corporatization of schools that reduces students to their test scores. Dr. Mayorga encourages educators to center joy and healing. Schools should be liberatory rather than places that are too often focused on punishment and surveillance. Schools, as “localized nodes of political power,” should adopt democratic processes that cultivate voice, participation, and collaboration. As an organizer, he encourages coalitions of people resisting different aspects of racial capitalism, including those fighting destruction of the planet and exploitation of other species.

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BIPOC and undocumented: A trauma-filled intersection

Dr. Christiana Best, who spent thirty years in the New York City child welfare system before becoming a full-time academic, discusses her personal experience of being left behind in Granada while her mother settled in the US. Dr. Best, now an assistant professor of social work at St. Joseph’s, delves into the difficulties of providing holistic support to immigrant children and families, who are (justifiably) hesitant to trust government agencies.

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Transcription of the episode “Empowering school counselors to support struggling students”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff Jon M: [00:00:17] I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Mandy Savitz- Romer. Dr. Savitz-Romer is Nancy Pforzheimer Aronson Senior Lecturer of Human Development and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of the School of Education’s Prevention, Science and Practice master’s…

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Empowering school counselors to support struggling students

Dr. Mandy Savitz-Romer of Harvard Graduate School of Education sees counselors as schools’ academic conscience, the hub for providing holistic support to students. To be effective, they need a seat at the leadership table. Respondents in Savitz-Romer’s 1000-counselor survey described obstacles and successes in serving students during the pandemic.

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Transcription of the episode “Students leading change: Inclusiveness at an elite school”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guests today, Stacey Cervellin Thorp, Maima Moffett-Warden, and Abigail Rivera, are from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, a public high school with very competitive admission standards. …

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Students leading change: Inclusiveness at an elite school

Stacey Cervellino Thorp and Naima Moffett-Warden teach drama at Manhattan’s famed LaGuardia High School, and Abigail Rivera is a senior in the drama studio. Although all LaGuardia students are extraordinarily talented, their families, neighborhoods, and middle schools have vastly different resources. Students and faculty, led by students of color, have won changes and are demanding more steps to make the school more accessible and the curriculum more culturally responsive.

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Transcript of the episode “Education denied: What should reparations look like?”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And  I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Daarel Burnette II, staff writer at Education Week, where he covers school funding and finance. Previously, Mr. Burnette served as a bureau chief at Chalkbeat Tennessee, a start up news organization based in…

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Education denied: What should reparations look like?

Daarel Burnette II of Education Week delves into the history of Black communities demanding education and school boards conspiring to deprive them of opportunities and resources. We zoom in on Virginia’s reparations to Black citizens, now in their 60’s, who were excluded from schools when Prince Edward County shut its schools to avoid integration. Mr. Burnette, a “military brat,” theorizes about why children of Black military families do so much better academically than their civilian peers.

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Practicing ethics: Case studies

We speak with Meira Levinson, Professor of Education at Harvard, about her website justiceinschools.org and books of “hard cases,” designed to help educators and youth workers think about the ethical implications of their decisions. Often, there are no perfect solutions, and  these decisions can have far-reaching consequences in children’s lives. A former teacher herself, Meira would like teachers to be able to consult with specially trained school ethicists.

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Transcription of the episode “Practicing ethics: Case studies”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Meira Levinson. Dr. Levinson is Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her most recent book is “Democratic Discourse: Cases and Commentaries in Educational Ethics” with Jacob Fay. She’s the…

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Transcription of the episode “Antiracism: Lessons for the classroom and faculty lounge”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Mica Pollock. Dr. Pollock is Professor of Educational Studies and Director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity Assessment and Teaching Excellence, CREATE,  at the University of California, San Diego. Her most…

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Antiracism: Lessons for the classroom and faculty lounge

We speak with Mica Pollock about US vs Hate and Schooltalk. Student anti-racism messaging in any medium can catalyze youth activism. Comments embedded in teachers’ everyday communication can impact students’ lifetime trajectories.

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Transcription of the episode “Busting out of the classroom: Connecting local history to everyday life”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:17] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guests today are David Edelman and Raul Baez. David is a social studies teacher and instructional coach at Union Square Academy for Health Sciences in New York City. His website is cagebustingclassrooms.com. Raul is a rising…

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Busting out of the classroom: Connecting local history to everyday life

Social studies teacher David Edelman and student Raúl Baez speak about their class’s “Virtual Walking Tour of Slavery in New York City” and other projects in which students become teachers. David’s goal is to instill curiosity and encourage students to connect history to their lived experiences. He shares suggestions for virtual teaching and teacher collaboration.

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Transcription of the episode “Audit culture: The dehumanization of education

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is William Stroud. He was the founding principal in two New York City public schools, the Urban Peace Academy in East Harlem and the Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Queens. He Is currently…

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Audit culture: The dehumanization of education

World renowned educational consultant Bill Stroud talks about schooling within our capitalist culture and the impact that on-line learning will have on teachers’ autonomy and teacher-student relationships. He discusses similarities and differences among classrooms in different countries, the potential impact of the Movement for Black Lives on schools, and what envisioning a different system of schools would look like.

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Transcription of the episode “Supporting student civic activism: Social studies on steroids”

Jon M: [00:00:00] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:15] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. We have an exciting two part episode, which we’ll start today and continue next week. Our guests are Dr. Alan Singer, a former New York City high school teacher and now  teacher educator at Hofstra University, Dr….

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Supporting student civic activism: Social studies on steroids – Part 1

Dr. Alan Singer, Dr. Pablo Muriel, and Gates Millennium Scholar Dennis Belen-Morales, three generations of teachers, describe how they center student activism in their project-based social studies and history classes while giving students the tools to pass the NYS Regents exams. Dr. Singer was Dr. Muriel’s high school teacher, and Dr. Muriel was Mr. Belen-Morales’ teacher in turn. Now all three are at Hofstra University. Part 1 of a two-part series that contains lots of specific strategies for teachers and passion for civics education.

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