Keep your ideals and teach: Progressive teachers in the classroom

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Abstract: Experienced K-12 teachers describe strategies for success and challenges of teaching social studies without giving up progressive ideals. Interactive session focused on teaching, advocacy, fairness, collaboration, and organizing for change.

*Learn how social studies teachers maintain progressive/radical politics while successfully teaching and contributing to school and local communities;
*Identify key considerations in teaching fairly, accurately, and without imposition;
*Identify strategies for teaching and organizing for change.

Content/Skills: Content: Participants will hear brief narrative accounts of critical incidents from experienced social studies teachers that highlight the issues and obstacles of teaching with progressive/radical politics in a conservative age.

Skills: Participants will learn how to assess and manage risks of progressive teaching; strategies for organizing like-minded teachers; teaching  strategies; how to make positive community connections; how to handle criticism from students, parents, other teachers; how to respond to curriculum standards and high-stakes tests without jeopardizing students' (or your own) goals.

Strategies: This is an interactive session. Following a very brief introduction (by Presenter #1), short talks by panelists (Presenters 2-6, experienced elementary and secondary social studies teachers) will frame a variety of issues (as noted above). Every effort will be made to maximize opportunities for the panelists to discuss issues with one another and the audience. Presenter #7 will moderate the panel/audience interaction. Participants will receive a variety of handouts that provide an overview of the issues discussed in the session (e.g., resources for lesson/curriculum development; strategies for organizing for change; press stories of teachers' work, etc.).