Promising Practices in Teaching Social Responsibility

Edited by Sheldon Berman & Phyllis LaFarge

Subjects: Comparative Education
Series: SUNY series, Democracy and Education
Paperback : 9780791413982, 267 pages, July 1993
Hardcover : 9780791413975, 267 pages, July 1993

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Table of contents

Phyllis La Farge

Sheldon Berman

1. Controversial Issues and Young Children: Kindergartners Try to Understand Chernobyl
Janice Balsam Danielson

2. Bringing Global Awareness into Elementary School Classrooms
Sheila Reindl

3. Cooperative Learning: Making the Transition
Sarah Pirtle

4. "You Need Lots of Choices": Conflict Resolution in the Elementary Grades
Sara Goodman and William J. Kreidler

5. Democratic Practices at the Elementary School Level: Three Portraits
Clarissa Sawyer

6. Literature in the Classroom: Pathways to Social Responsibility
Barbara Beckwith

7. Educating for Multicultural Perspectives: A Doorway to the Rest of Humanity
Monica Andrews

8. You and I Are the Same: The Multicultural Classroom
Nina A. Mullen and Laurie Olsen

9. Words, Not Weapons; Dialogue, Not Debate: Managing Conflict at the Middle- and Secondary-School Levels
Anne Yeomans

10. Promising Practices in the Social Studies
Dennis Shirley

11. Science and Society: Teaching Social Responsibility in the Nuclear Age
Beth Wilson Fultz

12. Math and Social Responsibility
Sheldon Berman

13. The Arts: Imagining a Better World
David M. Stuart

14. Educating for Democracy and Community: Toward the Transformation of Power in Our Schools
Seth Kreisberg

15. Teaching for Global Responsibility through Student Participation in the Community
Dale A. Bryan


Topic Index

Index of Educational Researchers and Theorists

Index of Teachers, Administrators, Students, and Schools Referred to in Text


This book is by, for, and about teachers. It is a showcase for the innovative practices that teachers have found most effective in teaching social responsibility. The authors offer a rare discussion of actual classroom practices and the insights teachers have had in experimenting with new ways to help students develop conflict resolution skills and social responsibility.

Sheldon Berman is President of Educators for Social Responsibility and is one of the group's founders. Phyllis LaFarge is a contributing editor to Parents Magazine and is a freelance writer in the area of child development.


"There is a strong message here for virtually any educator or person concerned about the survival of our world as a decent place for all its inhabitants. These shining examples can move teachers who feel the need to teach differently to a vision of teaching that is bound up with the hope of a just, caring, and participative society. " — Edward Mikel, National-Louis University

"For the past decade a movement has been going on in schools across the country that has escaped the notice of the mainstream press, the television talk shows, and officials in state and federal departments of education. It is a movement of teachers, administrators, parents, and students who are demanding something more of their schools than just higher test scores. Rather, what they want are schools that produce young people who can think well, are able to understand the world around them, have a sense of the common good, and the courage to make a difference.

"Promising Practices in Teaching Social Responsibility is about the daily work of classroom teachers trying to make their rooms places where social responsibility is nurtured and developed. It is a tour on which we are invited into a wide variety of classrooms where the promise of democratic life is sustained by the way in which children and adults are treated.

"As I read this book, I often found myself thinking about my own children, ages 5 and 9, in these classrooms and what a joy it would be for them—and for me. It's an opportunity every child (and parent) should have and I hope this book helps to create such classrooms and schools in communities across the country. "— George H. Wood, Ohio University, author of Schools That Work: America's Most Innovative Public Education Programs