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American Educator
Summer 2007


Table of Contents


Critical Thinking (PDF)
Why Is It So Hard to Teach?
By Daniel T. Willingham

There's no such thing as critical thinking "skills." There are strategies that aid critical thinking—but these can only take one's thinking to the precipice, no further. Then what? Critical thinking depends on knowing relevant content very well—and thinking about it, repeatedly, in critical ways.

You Probably Solved the Puzzle Based on Hansel and Gretel—Now Try This One Based on Chao Chong (web extra)

The Quest for Professional Voice
Why It Has Been—and Continues to Be—High on Our Teacher Union Agenda
By Leo Casey

Teacher unionism was never just about wages and working conditions. From the start, it has aimed at providing teachers with a voice on the professional and educational issues that drew them to teaching in the first place. Today teacher unions are key advocates of teacher quality and the conditions and standards that will promote teaching as a profession.

The Heart and Mind of a Teacher Unionist

Uncovering Academic Success
By Karin Chenoweth

What makes some schools so great? Journalist Karin Chenoweth visited more than a dozen high-scoring, regular public schools that enrolled large numbers of poor and minority children. The good news: They are not "soul-deadening test-prep factories.... where the teachers and principals were worn to a frazzle, burnt-out.... [or] robbed of all creativity." She lays out what she found—and takes us inside one of those schools.

Inside Philadelphia's M. Hall Stanton Elementary School
By Karin Chenoweth

Perth Amboy, New Jersey, has created a full-day preschool program that helps prepare all children socially and academically for school.

Results Like These Are No Fluke (PDF)

Sharing the Secret of Success
Stanton Teachers Tell How the School Improved

A Place for Poetry
Together, Poetry and History Make Field Trips Memorable
By Anne Marie Whittaker

Educational tour designer Anne Marie Whittaker pairs U.S. monuments with her favorite poems. She shares her love of verse while taking her students back in time—and helping them see that there is a place for poetry in their lives, too.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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