Because We Can Change the World: A Practical Guide to Building Cooperative, Inclusive Classroom Communities

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9781412978385: Because We Can Change the World: A Practical Guide to Building Cooperative, Inclusive Classroom Communities

Change the world, one classroom at a time!

Mara Sapon-Shevin skillfully blends vision statements, stories, and strategies to guide teachers in promoting social justice and creating classrooms that allow all children to experience academic success. This new edition of a highly acclaimed book:

  • Provides a powerful vision of diverse, inclusive elementary classrooms
  • Discusses the barriers to creating cooperative classrooms and how they can be overcome
  • Offers activities, songs, and children’s literature that promote acceptance and understanding
  • Includes new "Reframing Our Work" sections with reflective questions that help readers examine their own beliefs and teaching practices

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About the Author:

Mara Sapon-Shevin is Professor of Inclusive Education in the Teaching and Leadership Department of the School of Education at Syracuse University. She teaches in the University’s Inclusive Elementary and Special Education Teacher Education Program that prepares teachers for inclusive, heterogeneous classrooms. She frequently consults with districts that are attempting to move towards more inclusive schools and respond more positively to student diversity, providing workshops and support for teachers, students, parents and administrators.

Mara presents frequently on inclusive education, cooperative learning, social justice education, differentiated instruction, friendship, community building, school reform, and teaching for diversity. She works with other educators and community members to design workshops and learning experiences to help participants build relationships across ethnic and racial groups and collaborate for friendship and peaceful co-existence. Mara can often be found leading conference groups in community building, singing and dancing.

The author of over 150 books, book chapters and articles, Mara is also the co-author of a seven session curriculum entitled, “Endracism/Endinjustice: Challenging Oppression, Building Allies” designed for high school and college students. She is the co-producer of a DVD entitled “and nobody said anything: Uncomfortable Conversations about Diversity” that explores critical teaching incidents on social justice for faculty in colleges and universities. Her most recent book is Widening the Circle: The Power of Inclusive Classrooms (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007).

Review:

"Because We Can Change the World is a powerful antidote to the bullying, intolerance, and exclusion that are all too commonplace in our schools. Through helpful insights, practical strategies, and, most of all, a powerful vision grounded in social justice, this book gives teachers and others who care about our schools the inspiration and hope they need to carry on." (Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy, and Culture 2010-02-01)

"For teachers committed to making schools that work for all students, this book is a guide for facilitating that transformative process. Not just practical, but a real treat." (Kiernan Rok, Inclusion Teacher 2010-02-23)

"Because We Can Change the World has been very instrumental in my work with inclusive schools. The examples, activities, songs, and games are inspired, unique, and effective. I have personally seen classroom cultures completely transformed as a result of using the techniques in this book. If you don’t already use this book to promote community, collaboration, and inclusion in your school, do it immediately so students can learn that inclusion is more than a place or a policy―it is a commitment to acceptance, an honoring of difference, and, as Sapon-Shevin so eloquently reminds us, a belief that we just might ‘change the world.’” (Paula Kluth, Educational Consultant 2010-01-25)

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