Looking to near peers to guide student discussions about race


To engage high school students in learning about racial identity and difference, ask college students to lead the discussion. By Donna Rich Kaplowitz, Jasmine A. Lee, and Sheri L. Seyka A black student tweets at a white teammate that it is not OK for him to use the “N” word, and the white teammate tweets [...]

The power of hmm . . . : Bringing life (back) to words in the classroom


  Many students need to be shown explicitly how to engage productively in academic discussions. But teachers should be careful not to stifle the genuine exchange of ideas. By Jeremy Glazer Classrooms can be places where students learn to talk with and listen to others, skills that have become increasingly important at a time when [...]

Less arguing, more listening: Improving civility in classrooms

Education, home blogs|

A study of classroom deliberations in four high schools shows what can go wrong when teachers neglect to prepare students to argue in a civil manner — and it suggests ways to do better.  By Margaret Crocco, Anne-Lise Halvorsen, Rebecca Jacobsen, and Avner Segall Democracy requires civil discourse in which individuals listen to others, even [...]

Kappan’s new editorial team


Rafael Heller (left) and Teresa Preston take on new roles at Kappan magazine. A new team of editors will take the helm at Kappan, effective with the March issue of the magazine. Rafael Heller, who has been managing editor/content, becomes Kappan’s newest editor-in-chief, and Teresa Preston replaces him as managing editor. Carol Bucheri remains at [...]

Top 10 online Kappan stories of 2017


As we bid adieu to 2017, let's take a look back at the most popular Kappan stories of the year. 2018 promises to be an exciting year for kappanonline.org. We have a new website planned. Podcasts, videos, and more interaction with readers are goals. We welcome your feedback on what we're doing well and what we could [...]

The complicated pursuit of democratic teaching 


Learning about democracy and living democratically present challenges in a high school social studies classroom.  By Brian Gibbs  What constitutes democratic social studies education? Broadly speaking, it is said to include deliberative instructional practice that focuses on controversial issues, explores political themes, and aims to close gaps in students’ civic literacy (e.g., Parker, 2003; Levinson, [...]

Can schools meet the promise of continuous improvement? 


New research offers insights on how leaders can actually make continuous improvement work.  By Mark A. Elgart  “Continuous improvement” has been part of the lexicon of school improvement for decades. Today, it is at least nominally at the heart of efforts to improve instruction both big and small: state accountability systems, district and school improvement plans, protocols [...]

From partisanship to pluralism: Teaching students how to listen to each other 


    A teacher-designed discussion protocol helps high school students have productive conversations about their political beliefs.  By Daniel Sussman  Jack is making noises again. It’s Meeting for Worship, a weekly gathering time at most Quaker schools, set aside for silent reflection, sharing of thoughts, community building, spiritual exploration, and the furtherance of Quaker values like [...]

How schools heal after a tragedy


Every tragedy is different but preparation, strong school/community ties, and disciplined follow-up can help every situation. By Cathy Kennedy-Paine, Melissa A. Reeves, and Stephen E. Brock • A tornado rips through a community, destroying one school and severely damaging another. • Three students are killed in an automobile accident on the way home from prom. [...]

Do it now: Short-term responses to traumatic events


When tragedy strikes, school personnel should perform a range of tasks and roles to minimize harm to children and lay the groundwork for their recovery. By Thomas Demaria and David J. Schonfeld Despite our best prevention efforts, we can’t always protect students from the many stressful and often traumatic experiences they may encounter. In the [...]

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