Table of Contents

    Cover Story
  • Free Of Mice and Marginalization

    Authored By Michelle Kenney

    Under pressure from parents, a high school English teacher assigns a classic: Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Her students' reactions lead her to a deeper understanding of what's wrong with "the canon."

  • Features
  • Disabled Education

    Authored By Ruth Colker

    A legal advocate for people with disabilities realizes, through her own son's experiences, the inequities in access, diagnosis, and services for children with special needs.

  • Free Standing Up for Tocarra

    Authored By Tina Owen

    When a homophobic minister preaches about the "sin" of a transgender student at her funeral, a teacher leads her students to focus instead on the beautiful spirit of the young woman they loved.

  • Free The Mystery of the 3 Scary Numbers

    Authored By Bill Bigelow

    A classroom mixer prepares students to study "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math."

  • Teaching Palestine

    An interview with Palestinian educator Ziad Abbas

    Authored By Jody Sokolower

    Drawing on his experience growing up in a refugee camp in the West Bank and his work with youth, Abbas explores connections that bring Palestine to life for students in the United States.

  • Free Charter Schools and the Future of Public Education

    Authored By Stan Karp

    Charter schools began as educator-initiated, local efforts to provide alternative approaches to education. What role are they playing now? And what is the impact on public education?

  • Schools That Change Communities

    Reviewed By David Sobel

    Bob Gliner's film focuses on five schools in very different communities. Together, they provide a view of what is possible when education is grounded in civic engagement.

  • Rethinking Shit

    Excrement and equity

    Authored By Noah Zeichner

    A high school social studies teacher uses videos and frank discussion to lead students in a study of the sanitation crisis in poverty-stricken areas of the world, and the connection to global patterns of wealth and power.

  • Departments Free
    Editorial
  • Clear-Cutting Our Schools

    Authored By The Editors of Rethinking Schools
  • Action Education
  • Justice for Trayvon Martin

    Authored By Jody Sokolower
  • Good Stuff
  • The Storyteller's Candle/La velita de los cuentos

    Reviewed By Grace Cornell Gonzales
  • Resources
  • Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice education resources.

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Teaching Palestine

An interview with Palestinian educator Ziad Abbas
Teaching Palestine

Ericka Sokolower-Shain

Teaching Palestine: An interview with Palestinian educator Ziad Abbas

Many teachers are reluctant to teach about Palestine. We worry about negative reactions from administrators or parents. Few of us learned much about the Middle East in our own schooling, and it's difficult to find good curriculum.

But just as it's important to teach the real history of Columbus, it's important that students learn factual history and are able to think critically about Palestine and Israel. Otherwise, they are left with the stereotypes so widely disseminated in the mainstream media. The increasing volatility in the region only makes the issue more urgent.

As program manager for cross-cultural programs at the Middle East Children's Alliance (mecaforpeace.org) in Berkeley, California, Ziad Abbas works with teachers, teacher educators, and students. As a Palestinian refugee himself, born in a camp in the West Bank, he shares his family history, his knowledge of the region, and his commitment to critical thinking and social justice. He spoke recently with RS Managing Editor Jody Sokolower about his own background, the context for teaching about Palestine, and ways to approach the topic with students in the United States.

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