Because We Can Change the World
A Practical Guide to Building Cooperative, Inclusive Classroom Communities
- Mara Sapon-Shevin - Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA
"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 a powerful vision grounded in social justice, this book gives teachers the inspiration and hope they need to carry on."
—Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy, and Culture
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
"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
Change the world, one classroom at a time!
It is impossible for most students to achieve academically if they do not feel safe, supported, welcomed, and accepted. By structuring democratic classrooms as models of diversity, cooperation, and inclusion, teachers can help children learn skills and values that lay a foundation for good citizenship and will make a differences in their lives now and in the future.
Mara Sapon-Shevin provides a unique vision of elementary classrooms that allow all children to experience academic success. This long-awaited new edition of a highly acclaimed book:
- Calls on all educators to create diverse, inclusive classrooms and promote social justice
- Discusses the barriers to creating cooperative classrooms and how they can be overcome
- Includes 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
With updated resources and a stronger emphasis on differentiated instruction, Because We Can Change the World gives teachers the vision, courage, and strategies to make the world a better place, starting with their own classrooms.
This companion website is designed to provide easy access to the songs referenced in Because We Can Change the World. For each song cited in the text, links are provided for you to hear the song, find and download the lyrics, and, in some cases, hear others perform the song as well. Links to the songwriters' websites and ordering information for their recordings are also included.
Also contained on this website are some additional references for cooperative games and community building activities.
"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."
"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."
"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.’”
Great text -- gives students the vision and big picture for inclusion and ways to live this vision out day to day in the classroom.
Thank you for this useful book!
The content will be inspiring to our pre-service teachers!
I like that this text is filled with practical applications for my graduate students. They are always wanting texts that contain usable ideas.
The second edition has been updated to include references and resources that are current and which replace older and outdated examples and resources. The songs which were previously included at the end of the book as lead sheets have now been moved to an accessible website where readers can listen to each of the songs included in the book as well as find the complete lyrics. This should allow greater access and increase usage.
The children's literature citations have been updated to include more recent book titles. Examples of practice which support each of the key points in the book have also been updated and revised. The chapter "Working Together to Learn," has been revised so that it includes differentiated instruction, universal design for learning, multiple intelligences and cooperative learning as ways in which teachers can meet the diverse learning needs of their students within a community context. The book also includes expanded coverage of many current issues including immigration, religious oppressions, bullying, and homophobia.
A new section has been added to each chapter, "Reframing Our Work" which allows readers to engage in self-study about their own experiences, their students and their schools. Answers and discussions of these questions will allow readers to engage in professional development which is more tightly focused and to identify goals for themselves and their students more directly.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 1: Civics, An Agenda for Our Schools