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Facilitating Conversations On Difficult Topics In The Classroom: Teachers’ Stories Of Opening Spaces Using Children’S Literature Nov 2020

Facilitating Conversations On Difficult Topics In The Classroom: Teachers’ Stories Of Opening Spaces Using Children’S Literature

Occasional Paper Series

For this edition of the Bank Street Occasional Paper Series, we invited educators to share stories from their practice: times when they utilized children’s literature and conversations to address real life; the difficult topics that children experience through the mirror of their own experiences or the windows of their peers, communities, or world.


Conversations About Death That Are Provoked By Literature, Cara E. Furman Nov 2020

Conversations About Death That Are Provoked By Literature, Cara E. Furman

Occasional Paper Series

How do teachers have conversations about death with young children? In this paper, I focus specifically on how teachers might support unplanned conversations that were provoked by children’s literature. In analyzing a series of events in which such conversations occurred, I argue that to do so required going against three conventions in literacy education: close reading, staying on task, and appropriate school talk. I then speak to how teacher educators might prepare teachers for these unexpected but important digressions.


If I Knew Then What I Do Now: Fostering Pre-Service Teachers’ Capacity To Promote Expansive And Critical Conversations With Children’S Literature, Stephen Adam Crawley Nov 2020

If I Knew Then What I Do Now: Fostering Pre-Service Teachers’ Capacity To Promote Expansive And Critical Conversations With Children’S Literature, Stephen Adam Crawley

Occasional Paper Series

In this article, I reflect on my practices as a teacher educator and respond to the following questions: How do I foster the capacity of pre-service teachers to use children’s literature to promote expansive and critical conversations in the classroom? How do pre-service teachers report their stances and sense of preparedness when reflecting on the course? To address these questions, I share two strategies I employed in my undergraduate course for elementary education majors: 1) emphasizing children's literature as windows and mirrors and 2) considering stakeholder responses. For each strategy, I include preservice teachers’ (PTs’) statements that reflect ...


Shattering, Healing And Dreaming: Lessons From Middle-Grade Literacies And Lives, Carla España Nov 2020

Shattering, Healing And Dreaming: Lessons From Middle-Grade Literacies And Lives, Carla España

Occasional Paper Series

In the summer of 2018, I had the opportunity to read the words of Renée Watson, Jewell Parker-Rhodes, Jacqueline Woodson and Nikki Grimes alongside seventh and eighth graders. Our conversations were grounded in the students’ lives and in stories and poems crafted by Black women. I had the responsibility and honor to select the texts, develop the curriculum and co-create a space with students. The authors’ words helped students process not only the authors’ craft but also how students navigated issues from microaggressions to tensions in friendships, from the oppression experienced at the intersections of their identities to the role ...


Choosing Difficult, Choosing Important In Fifth-Grade Read-Aloud, Chiara Dilello Nov 2020

Choosing Difficult, Choosing Important In Fifth-Grade Read-Aloud, Chiara Dilello

Occasional Paper Series

In this essay, I share my critical reflections and pedagogical choices (some more successful than others) while using a whole-class chapter book read-aloud to engage my students in conversation about complex topics, including racism and gender, which we might not have discussed otherwise. It is my hope to model one small way I as a White teacher have tried to disrupt Whiteness in my classroom as part of a larger commitment to anti-racist teaching, and help teachers feel more prepared to undertake similar work in their own settings.


What Do You Do When You Don't Know How To Respond? Supporting Pre-Service Teachers To Use Picture Books To Facilitate Difficult Conversations, Kathryn Struthers Ahmed, Nida Ali Nov 2020

What Do You Do When You Don't Know How To Respond? Supporting Pre-Service Teachers To Use Picture Books To Facilitate Difficult Conversations, Kathryn Struthers Ahmed, Nida Ali

Occasional Paper Series

In this paper, the authors – a preservice teacher (PST) and a teacher educator – consider how teacher education might better prepare PSTs to use picture books to facilitate difficult conversations in elementary classrooms. They share missed opportunities from their own experiences in a fourth-grade fieldwork classroom and in a graduate-level elementary literacy methods course where they felt unprepared to respond to students’ comments about “controversial” topics. They reimagine how these experiences might have been transformed to be more educative for PSTs, first by considering how they could have responded more thoughtfully in the moment and then by thinking about how they ...


Gender-Inclusive Children’S Literature As A Preventative Measure: Moving Beyond A Reactive Approach To Lgbtq+ Topics In The Classroom, Shelby Brody Nov 2020

Gender-Inclusive Children’S Literature As A Preventative Measure: Moving Beyond A Reactive Approach To Lgbtq+ Topics In The Classroom, Shelby Brody

Occasional Paper Series

This article addresses the common perception of gender non-conforming and gender-expansive identities as difficult classroom topics. The lack of gender-inclusive curricula in American schools results in a reactive approach to teaching about queerness, specifically about people who identify as transgender and/or gender non-conforming. Teachers need to adopt a proactive approach to teaching about queerness in order to prevent gender-based discrimination, harassment, and violence in schools and in the world. Trans-inclusive children’s literature has become more available in recent years. However, teachers need to be conscious of popular narratives that offer a limited perspective on people who identify as ...


Focus On Friendship Or Fights For Civil Rights? Teaching The Difficult History Of Japanese American Incarceration Through The Bracelet, Noreen N. Rodríguez Nov 2020

Focus On Friendship Or Fights For Civil Rights? Teaching The Difficult History Of Japanese American Incarceration Through The Bracelet, Noreen N. Rodríguez

Occasional Paper Series

Japanese American incarceration is one of few Asian American historical topics addressed in P-12 curriculum. A dearth of children’s literature is available about Japanese American incarceration, yet given young learners’ limited exposure to World War II historical narratives, simply reading a picturebook about the topic does not ensure that students and teachers will address the injustices involved in the event. This study contrasts the distinct pedagogical approaches taken up by two Texas elementary educators who read aloud Yoshiko Uchida’s The Bracelet, a picturebook that details a young Japanese American girl’s forced removal from her home.


Taking A Journey To The Land Of All: Using Children’S Literature To Explore Gender Identity And Expression With Young Children, Kerry Elson, Kindel Nash Nov 2020

Taking A Journey To The Land Of All: Using Children’S Literature To Explore Gender Identity And Expression With Young Children, Kerry Elson, Kindel Nash

Occasional Paper Series

Children’s literature is a powerful tool that helps shape young children’s understandings of themselves and the world. As such, children’s literature can help young children develop deeper and more nuanced understandings about gender, gender identity, and gender expression. This article shares how teacher Kerry Elson planned and implemented a curriculum with first-grade students that focused on gender identity and expression. In this curriculum, she carefully selected children’s literature to explore gender identity and expression with young children.


Angry Like Me, Catherine-Laura Dunnington, Shoshana Magnet Nov 2020

Angry Like Me, Catherine-Laura Dunnington, Shoshana Magnet

Occasional Paper Series

In this article we take on a challenging picture book, The Heart and the Bottle written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, and how one preschool boy’s response changed us. As part of a three-center initiative to discuss hard feelings and grief with preschool learners, we teamed with six preschool teachers to read and work through this text. We explore how both the preschoolers’ and the teachers’ responses challenged us to look at how the disjoint between pedagogy (literature that says we should teach these types of texts) and practice (how this classroom experience actually unfolds) leaves much room for ...


Storytime Is A Sunrise: Employing Children’S Literature To Mediate Socio-Emotional Challenges In The Life Of A Young Child, Carolina Soto Bonds Nov 2020

Storytime Is A Sunrise: Employing Children’S Literature To Mediate Socio-Emotional Challenges In The Life Of A Young Child, Carolina Soto Bonds

Occasional Paper Series

This piece explores the trials and victories of a teacher's literary therapy for Will* a student faced with the ravages of mental health struggles and instability in his home life. The purpose here is to divulge the vulnerabilities of a personal story in the hopes of generating support for other educators who might be battling similar conflicts. Along the way, as varying children's books like My Happy Sad Mummy, by Michelle Vasiliu, and The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas, play integral parts in emotional healing, the teacher confronts her own internal unrests as Will's obstacles inch too ...


Introduction: Facilitating Conversations On Difficult Topics In The Classroom: Teachers’ Stories Of Opening Spaces Using Children’S Literature, Mollie Welsh Kruger, Susie Rolander, Susan Stires Nov 2020

Introduction: Facilitating Conversations On Difficult Topics In The Classroom: Teachers’ Stories Of Opening Spaces Using Children’S Literature, Mollie Welsh Kruger, Susie Rolander, Susan Stires

Occasional Paper Series

For this edition of the Bank Street Occasional Paper Series, we invited educators to share stories from their practice: times when they utilized children’s literature and conversations to address real life; the difficult topics that children experience through the mirror of their own experiences or the windows of their peers, communities, or world.


Possibilities And Problems In Trauma-Based And Social Emotional Learning Programs Apr 2020

Possibilities And Problems In Trauma-Based And Social Emotional Learning Programs

Occasional Paper Series

Social, emotional, and affective experiences are impossible to separate from thinking, doing, and being in the world. Increasingly, schools and community-based organizations are recognizing this truth through the adoption of programs that focus on the emotional lives of children and youth, especially when emotions are fraught, and lives have been difficult. Programs such as social emotional learning (SEL) frameworks and trauma-informed practices (TIP) are not only popular, they are deemed “essential” in almost every corner of the social services sector.


Creating Classroom Community To Welcome Children Experiencing Trauma, Katherina A. Payne, Jennifer Keys Adair, Shubhi Sachdeva Apr 2020

Creating Classroom Community To Welcome Children Experiencing Trauma, Katherina A. Payne, Jennifer Keys Adair, Shubhi Sachdeva

Occasional Paper Series

How elementary and early childhood classrooms engage with socio-emotional learning is deeply connected to creating a classroom community. Yet, much of socio-emotional learning curricula focuses on the individual child, rather than on the everyday interactions that build and sustain community. During the Civic Action and Young Children study, we spent a year in a Head Start preschool in Texas, where we noticed that although many children in the class struggled with varied difficult circumstances including poverty, homelessness, discrimination and threat of deportation, the teachers did not label them as homeless, illegal immigrants or poor. Additionally, children seemed to help one ...


Threading The Needle: On Balancing Trauma And Critical Teaching, Brian Gibbs, Kristin Papoi Apr 2020

Threading The Needle: On Balancing Trauma And Critical Teaching, Brian Gibbs, Kristin Papoi

Occasional Paper Series

This essay describes and takes up the task of what the authors call threading the needle—teaching difficult content with a critical lens while simultaneously teaching with a trauma-informed pedagogy. Drawing data from three qualitative studies, one focused on teachers teaching for social justice in unjust school spaces, another looking at how teachers teach war to the children of soldiers, and a third how teachers teach lynching in schools near historic lynching sites, this manuscript argues that threading the needle is made more difficult by a too generalized definition of trauma informed teaching, shortsighted professional development on the topic, and ...


Emotionally Responsive Practice As Trauma Informed Care: Parallel Process To Support Teacher Capacity To Hold Children With Traumatic History, Lesley Koplow, Noelle Dean, Margaret Blachly Apr 2020

Emotionally Responsive Practice As Trauma Informed Care: Parallel Process To Support Teacher Capacity To Hold Children With Traumatic History, Lesley Koplow, Noelle Dean, Margaret Blachly

Occasional Paper Series

This article features an adult-focused trauma informed approach that is an integral part of Bank Street’s Emotionally Responsive Practice work in schools. The authors share stories of parallel process work with teachers and administrators in various school settings, giving the reader insight into an approach that supports integration of the teacher’s past and present, and promotes empathy for the children they once were, as well as the children who fill their classrooms. The work is situated within the context of the high prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences that impact our communities of both children and adults, and leave ...


All I Want To Say Is That They Don’T Really Care About Us: Creating And Maintaining Healing-Centered Collective Care In Hostile Times, Asif Wilson, Wytress Richardson Apr 2020

All I Want To Say Is That They Don’T Really Care About Us: Creating And Maintaining Healing-Centered Collective Care In Hostile Times, Asif Wilson, Wytress Richardson

Occasional Paper Series

Too often educators (care-givers) are left to navigate toxic work environments without proper support to combat the systemic issues they face daily. Institutions of higher education have neglected to make the health and well-being of care-givers a priority. This failure continues to maintain and perpetuate the oppressive conditions that mirror trauma, pain and stress. The authors of this study extend Ginwright’s (2018) healing centered engagement to conceptualize what they call healing centered collective care—a fugitive framework of care for the care-givers. Data was collected through two case studies and those generative themes are presented using testimonios from the ...


The Importance Of Narrative: Moving Towards Sociocultural Understandings Of Trauma-Informed Praxis, Noah Golden Apr 2020

The Importance Of Narrative: Moving Towards Sociocultural Understandings Of Trauma-Informed Praxis, Noah Golden

Occasional Paper Series

Dominant framings of trauma-informed pedagogy are currently grounded in a purely biomedical understanding of trauma, often locating ‘problems’ to be solved in individual students or communities, and engendering ‘solutions’ that focus on discourses of self-regulation and control. While these framings are slowly giving way to broader environmental understandings of trauma and marginalized youth, a deeper understanding of ecologies of privilege, disposession, and relationships to/with trauma is needed to understand the role(s) that schooling might play in mitigating traumatic experiences and their effects on young people. In particular, many students of color who are working-class or experiencing poverty must ...


Why Trouble Sel? The Need For Cultural Relevance In Sel, Julia Mahfouz, Vanessa Anthony-Stevens Apr 2020

Why Trouble Sel? The Need For Cultural Relevance In Sel, Julia Mahfouz, Vanessa Anthony-Stevens

Occasional Paper Series

With regards to efforts to imagine more equitable spaces of learning for all students, we are compelled to ask: How can SEL programs address the needs of marginalized, minoritized, and/or historically under-resourced students without deeply considering the cultured context of social interaction and school learning? Although evidence shows SEL programs yield benefits in multiple domains, most programs are based on monolithic approaches that often do not consider dynamics of power and oppression in the context of schooling. In this paper, we discuss the crucial role of culture in SEL frameworks. We propose adopting an interdisciplinary lens to integrate culturally ...


Trauma By Numbers: Warnings Against The Use Of Ace Scores In Trauma-Informed Schools, Alex Winninghoff Apr 2020

Trauma By Numbers: Warnings Against The Use Of Ace Scores In Trauma-Informed Schools, Alex Winninghoff

Occasional Paper Series

The school trauma-informed movement is grounded in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) research, which has informed professional development, philosophies, understandings of students’ lives, and school interventions. In recent years, there has been growing advocacy for ACE screenings and the use of “ACE score” data to inform individual and school interventions. This application of the ACE framework raises a number of ethical concerns for K-12 school professionals, particularly since high ACE scores are associated with dismal life trajectories for students who are not “resilient” enough to overcome their hardships. This article challenges the frequent claim that the trauma-informed frameworks move school professional ...


Let Them Get Mad: Using The Psychoanalytic Frame To Rethink Sel And Trauma Infomed Practice, Clio Stearns Apr 2020

Let Them Get Mad: Using The Psychoanalytic Frame To Rethink Sel And Trauma Infomed Practice, Clio Stearns

Occasional Paper Series

This article draws on the concept of the psychoanalytic frame to argue that SEL and trauma-informed practices, as codified constructs, might be excessively rigid when it comes to making sense of children's and teacher's emotional worlds. Drawing on vignettes from observations in a third-grade classroom where there is not yet a mandate for SEL, the author shows how sometimes, the very absence of a codified approach to children's difficult behaviors and emotions can lead to an increase in their sense that they are seen and heard by their teacher and by one another.


Issue 43: Possibilities And Problems In Trauma-Based And Social Emotional Learning Programs, Tracey Pyscher, Anne Crampton Apr 2020

Issue 43: Possibilities And Problems In Trauma-Based And Social Emotional Learning Programs, Tracey Pyscher, Anne Crampton

Occasional Paper Series

Social, emotional, and affective experiences are impossible to separate from thinking, doing, and being in the world. Increasingly, schools and community-based organizations are recognizing this truth through the adoption of programs that focus on the emotional lives of children and youth, especially when emotions are fraught, and lives have been difficult. Programs such as social emotional learning (SEL) frameworks and trauma-informed practices (TIP) are not only popular, they are deemed “essential” in almost every corner of the social services sector.


Promise In Infant-Toddler Care And Education Oct 2019

Promise In Infant-Toddler Care And Education

Occasional Paper Series

This special themed issue of the Occasional Paper Series seeks to highlight and challenge assumptions about infant-toddler care and education. In the Call for Papers, we specifically asked for critical analyses of the state of the field; for contributions from practitioners, policy researchers and policymakers, teacher educators, and colleagues from international contexts to interrogate the status quo. We were not surprised, however, when the papers submitted, with one exception, came from university researchers or faculty working with students. Caregivers and teachers of the youngest children are overwhelmingly women, often with families of their own, with limited time, support, or incentives ...


Introduction To The Guttman Articles, Virginia Casper Oct 2019

Introduction To The Guttman Articles, Virginia Casper

Occasional Paper Series

The Guttman Center for Early Care and Education came about through a 2016 grant from the Guttman Foundation to provide a quality professional development and support system to child care providers and practitioners in East New York, Brooklyn. The program paired coaching with Saturday workshops delivered in the community to address local community needs. Following participants’ graduation, the program initiated a learning network to promote continued peer learning (see the articles in this issue by Robin Hancock and Marjorie Brickley). Although the project has ended, the learning network—and thousands of interactions from the many relationships that were formed—remain ...


Preparing Infant-Toddler Professionals: A Community College’S Perspective, Jennifer M. Longley, Jennifer M. Gilken Oct 2019

Preparing Infant-Toddler Professionals: A Community College’S Perspective, Jennifer M. Longley, Jennifer M. Gilken

Occasional Paper Series

Preparing professionals to work with infants/ toddlers is complex and unique because of the age group. Community colleges have an integral role in the preparation of infant/ toddler professionals, The Borough of Manhattan Community College infant/ toddler preservice program identified the following four elements to prepare professionals to deliver high-quality, relationship-based practices: (1) relationship-based program, (2) fieldwork opportunities, (3) curriculum, and (4) faculty.


Including Autism: Confronting Inequitable Practices In A Toddler Classroom, Emmanuelle N. Fincham, Amanda R. Fellner Oct 2019

Including Autism: Confronting Inequitable Practices In A Toddler Classroom, Emmanuelle N. Fincham, Amanda R. Fellner

Occasional Paper Series

As co-teachers in a toddler room, we share a personal narrative about our experiences working with a child diagnosed with autism while in our care. Framed within the competing discourses of the medicalized perspective on disability and the individual, child-centered philosophies of early childhood education, we investigate the inequities we felt in the classroom and make connections to the field of early childhood inclusive education at large.


A Bizarro World For Infants And Toddlers And Their Teachers, Marcy Whitebook Oct 2019

A Bizarro World For Infants And Toddlers And Their Teachers, Marcy Whitebook

Occasional Paper Series

A bizarro world reverses our everyday realities. You may be familiar with the concept if you have ever read DC Comics or watched Seinfeld. In the bizarro world I envision for our nation’s infants and toddlers, family income does not determine whether their parents can afford to take time off work in the first months of their lives nor their right to high quality early care and education. In every infant-toddler program, whether offered in a center or home, staff are steeped in the science of child development and early learning pedagogy, and can depend on good wages and ...


Overlooked Too Long: Focusing On The Potential Of Infant-Toddler Child Care, Joan Lombardi Oct 2019

Overlooked Too Long: Focusing On The Potential Of Infant-Toddler Child Care, Joan Lombardi

Occasional Paper Series

Child care appears to be emerging as a national issue. After decades of being relegated to the minor leagues of American policy, child care for working families has become front-page news. It has been almost 50 years since the passage of comprehensive child care reform. The Comprehensive Child Development Act of l971 would have provided for a network of child care programs, ensured federal standards, and provided funds to train caregivers, among other provisions. Unfortunately it was vetoed, setting back child care for decades.


Unlocking Birth To Three: Context Really Matters, Hb Ebrahim Oct 2019

Unlocking Birth To Three: Context Really Matters, Hb Ebrahim

Occasional Paper Series

It is undisputed that birth to three are the foundational years where the youngest in our society experience extraordinary growth that contributes towards their development and learning. High quality programmes direct their efforts at building caring relationships, providing nurturing environments and working in partnerships with families and communities. Acting to develop responsive programmes and equitable practices, however, is not straightforward. Contestations have been brought to the fore by dissenting voices to mainstream narratives that privilege certain ways of knowing young children. In light of this, it is critical to ask: How has the dominant knowledge base for birth to three ...


The Nurturing Care Framework: From Policies To Parents, Linda Richter Oct 2019

The Nurturing Care Framework: From Policies To Parents, Linda Richter

Occasional Paper Series

When most people think of early childhood development, what comes to mind is preprimary school learning; similarly, when they think about how best to ensure a child turns out well, their thoughts turn to adolescents. The FrameWorks Institute in Washington, DC, calls this “aging up,” a phenomenon that has been demonstrated as a bias in policy and public thinking in several countries, including South Africa (Richter, Tomlinson, Watt, Hunt, & Lindland, 2019). Yet it is the earliest period of life, from conception to two to three years of age, that most strongly regulates our trajectory across the course of our lives ...