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Rethinking Elementary Education


Rethinking Elementary Education collects the finest writing about elementary school life and learning from 25 years of Rethinking Schools magazine. The articles in this volume offer practical insights about how to integrate the teaching of content with a social justice lens, how to seek wisdom from students and their families, and how to navigate stifling tests and mandates. Teachers and parents will find both inspiration and hope in these pages.

The indispensable resource for social justice elementary educators in six parts:

Part 1: Building Classroom Community

Part 2: Reading and Writing Toward a More Just World

Part 3: Minding Media

Part 4: Math is More than Numbers

Part 5: Laboratory for Justice: Science Across the Curriculum

Part 6: The Classroom, The School, The World

Winner of IBPA 2013 Franklin Gold Award

IBPA Franklin Award Seal

Winner of the 2013 Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Gold Award in Education

Praise from Educators and Authors:

"Another glorious package of encouragement and challenge from the most enlightened and most fervent group of teachers and their allies in our nation. Indispensable for elementary teachers–and a feisty provocation to all educators to stand up and fight for our beliefs."

-Jonathan Kozol, author, Savage Inequalities and Letters to a Young Teacher

"The authors of Rethinking Elementary Education see curriculum as a metaphor for the lives they want to live, a metaphor for the world they want their students to inhabit with them.  They believe schools in a democracy–even elementary schools–ought to be focused on equity and justice.  Chapter after chapter, teachers take your breath away with the power of their teaching, demonstrating practices that help the children in their care 'live the curriculum.'  This is a much needed look at how, despite mandates to the contrary, teachers might make curriculum relevant to children, connecting it to their lives by addressing the big issues that surround them – from the commercialization of childhood to the xenophobia our society holds toward immigrants."

 -Jerome C. Harste, Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Chair Emeritus of Teacher Education, Indiana University

"This is an essential book that will transform how we see Elementary Education. Both clear and profound, this honest book provides inspiration, invites reflection, and through engaging real life examples of classrooms across the nation, shows that in spite of all the external restriction placed upon our schools, we can be the teachers we want to be and give all children the true education they deserve."

 -Alma Flor Ada, professor emerita. University of San Francisco, and author of numerous books for children and educators, including A Magical Encounter: Latino Children's Literature in the Classroom.

"Rethinking Elementary Education is both powerful and practical.  The stories are direct from the classroom and offer testimony to the opportunities for creating real-world curriculum, based on the lives of our children and their families, and in the service of encouraging children to use their agency in support of the values of justice and empathy.  I truly loved the collection and will use it with both pre-service and inservice teachers I work with. Highly recommended!"

-Ruth Shagoury, Mary Stuart Rogers Professor of Education, Lewis & Clark College, and author of Raising Writers: Understanding and Nurturing Young Children's Writing Development