Tennessee State Social Studies Standards Revision

Hey Tennesseeans!  The TN State Department of Education is going to revise its Social Studies standards. ALL OF THEM. They are seeking public input through July 18th. The surveys are linked here.  YOU (yes, you, whoever is being addressed by this written statement), as a citizen, should contribute to this important, civic process!  The content […]

Worldwide Climate Justice Teach-in

I was looking at some webinars shared by a faith-based organization regarding school equity and I saw “Global Climate Justice Teach-in” from Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability was on the list. Only half an hour? I put it on my calendar, sure that when the time came, I would ignore it and do work that […]

Bravery for the 2020s

There’s a movie my kids watch obsessively, The Secret Life of Pets 2. The main character, Max, a dog, has developed anxiety because he tries to keep Liam, a toddler in his family, safe in a very dangerous world. Sounds familiar…is this movie for kids or their parents? There’s a scene where Max goes through […]

My First Official Devotion

No one has ever asked me to lead prayer, and that’s always been ok with me. I’m pretty private about my praying. But I’m in my fifth year at Carson-Newman, a Christian university, so I guess it was a matter of time. A few weeks ago, Dave McNeely, who is a colleague of mine who […]

Proud Dad/Learning Dad

One day this summer I took my kids out climbing. Thanks to some friends with keen (obsessive) eyes for rock, I was alerted to some boulders on a strange little greenway installed next to some office parking lots. The boulders range in size from a foot up to around 10 feet. They are limestone, cut […]

Risks of Empathy (Megan Boler)

Empathy has been the buzz for a while. I already wrote about it once on this blog. It’s a word on a lot of people’s lips. Sympathy has been relegated to being an almost derogatory thing that people who are jerks do. Really they need to step up and be EMpathetic. Empathy is big in […]

Following Up to “Nowhere to Go”

I wrote a paper with my friend Sultana about critical thinking in prison called “Critical Thinking with Nowhere to Go.” She teaches in a women’s prison and I was struck by the fact that, while Sultana was teaching social theory to her students, they faced penalties for praxis, putting their new knowledge into practice. The […]

The Fear-Inspiring T

Among my students, few school diversity topics are more intimidating than transgender students. L, G, B, and even Q seem less unsettling. It’s tough, I think, for teachers to think of children’s bodies at all. To acknowledge their bodies raises contradictions for them as they talk about loving and caring for kids and making a […]