New Teaching Guide from Rethinking Schools

The latest book from Rethinking Schools is Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality that addresses questions including:

  • How do you respond when a child asks, “Can a girl turn into a boy?”
  • What if your daughter brings home school books with sexist, racist stories?
  • What does “queering the curriculum” look like?
  • What’s wrong with “anti-bullying” policies? What are alternatives?

Edited by Annika Butler-Wall, Kim Cosier, Rachel Harper, Jeff Sapp, Jody Sokolower, and Melissa Bollow Tempel, Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality is a collection of inspiring stories about how to integrate feminist and LGBTQ content into curriculum, make it part of a vision for social justice, and create classrooms and schools that nurture all children and their families. Includes insightful, inspiring articles about:

  • Our Classrooms
  • Our Curriculum
  • When Teachers Come Out
  • Beyond the Classroom
  • Teacher Education, Continuing Education

From the introduction by Rethinking Schools editor Jody Sokolower:

What if schools were places where children could explore their identities and passions without worrying about gender roles—without worrying about gender at all?

What if all groups marginalized by our history books—including women and LGBTQ people—were central to the content we teach and learn?

What if age-appropriate, supportive discussions of sexuality were welcome across grade levels and subject areas?

What if LGBTQ teachers and family members were embraced by schools as essential to the diversity that makes a community strong?

Questions like these inspired this book. We began work in the midst of increasing discussion about LGBTQ issues, fueled by campaigns to legalize gay marriage; recognition by school districts—in the face of a series of murders and suicides—that they had to do something about harassment of LGBTQ students; and the end of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

We are encouraged by the momentum, but concerned that “gay rights” is too narrow a focus and separated from an overall understanding of social justice. For example, we’re sure the “It Gets Better” project, with half a million videos by everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to President Obama telling LGBTQ students to hang on, has helped many youth who felt isolated and alone. But it relies on a very individualized way of looking at the problem—everyone should be nice to each other, and your life will be better once you’re out of school. That’s a pretty low bar, and it doesn’t say much about the ways that schools need to change.

Learn more at Rethinking Schools.