What Solutionary Learning Can Look Like: 4 Stories

Transforming our educational system won’t be easy, but I believe that it is the most important and strategic path toward creating more just, peaceful, and sustainable societies populated by healthy, happy, successful people. Because the world inevitably becomes what we teach, it’s up to each of us – whether we are teachers, school administrators, parents,…

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anti-bias teacher resources

Tips for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books

by Marsha Rakestraw Stories are a powerful tool. They teach us about the world and ourselves; they influence our values; and they help shape our worldview. With children’s books, we’re usually looking for a good story to share with our children. Less often are we paying much attention to the kinds of messages those stories…

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father and son playing with dollhouse

11 Children’s Picture Books That Shatter Gender Stereotypes

by Marsha Rakestraw Just as we like to pretend that we live in a post-racial society, many of us want to avoid talking about sexism, stereotypes, and gender inequities. After all, women are CEOs and scientists and MMA fighters. And men can (sometimes) express their feelings (in certain cases), and can be stay-at-home dads and…

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civil rights march

Resources for Integrating Social Justice Into Your Classroom

by Marsha Rakestraw As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., and his legacy, today, it’s important to remember that, with global challenges growing and violence, injustice, cruelty and destruction flourishing, it’s vital that we address issues of social justice (human rights, environmental preservation, animal protection, media, culture, and changemaking) with students — to help them…

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A group of protestors with two talking on megaphones

Don’t Fall Into the Changemaker Trap That Makes People Resist Positive Change

by Marsha Rakestraw Awhile back I had dinner with some new non-vegan friends and colleagues. I was the only vegan there, and it came out that they’d been a bit concerned that I’d pull out my “vegan police” badge and start lecturing them about their food choices. When I told the person next to me…

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war & peace

Children’s Picture Books About War and Peace

by Marsha Rakestraw Some children have known war their entire lives. As journalist and peace teacher, Colman McCarthy says, “Why are we violent, but not illiterate? Because we are taught to read.” We teach children science, math and competition, but not peace. We offer them lessons on good character and anti-bullying, but often don’t model…

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people forming a peace sign on the beach

Resources for Teaching and Learning About War and Peace

by Marsha Rakestraw War and peace have long accompanied human civilization. And while, as some argue, we may be living in less violent times overall, the news is largely saturated with stories of violence and war. And as much as we say that we want peace, when mass violence occurs — such as it has…

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dreamcatcher

Resources for Exploring Issues About Native Americans and Other Indigenous Peoples

by Marsha Rakestraw All you have to do is glance at the media to know that racism, stereotypes, and bias are alive and well in the U.S. And, while many ethnic groups endure these prejudices and indignities, there’s a special category of oppression for Native peoples of North America. This continent belonged to hundreds of…

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social media

Empower Don’t Paralyze: 6 Tips for Sharing About Global Ethical Issues

by Marsha Rakestraw As I scroll down my Facebook wall, I skim across a horrific image of cruelty that someone has posted, with a caption that merely says “This has to stop!” and no other information. The image is so traumatizing that I quickly skip by it, and even consider hiding that person’s posts from…

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dictionary

The Trouble With “It”

by Shannon Finch I’d like to discuss a small word with a big problem: “it.” First, a little grammar review for you. “It” is a pronoun, like he or she, that takes the place of a noun. An antecedent, such as “the butterfly,” “the child,” or “the tree,” comes first so that readers know what…

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