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Gender and the Civil Rights Curricula  

Belinda Robnett

For decades, women in the United States have fought for civil rights. Other than the fight for women’s civil rights, women’s activism in other types of social movements has been largely ignored in textbooks and in the media. Two factors contribute to this neglect. First, historically, women have held differential access to structural and institutional power. Second, with a narrow definition of leadership, researchers focused exclusively on charismatic and formal social movement leaders. However, women served as leaders and participants not only in the Suffrage movement and the second-wave feminist movement but also in the U.S. civil rights movement, the Chican@ movement, the Asian American movement, and the Native American movement. Among the causes, women have fought on the front lines for voting rights; equal employment opportunities; equal pay; desegregated housing, schools, and public facilities; reproductive rights; tribal land rights; cultural and religious preservation; LGBTQ+ rights; criminal justice; welfare rights; universal healthcare; parental leave; environmental justice; and subsidized child care. Women served as formal leaders in women’s movement organizations, and as bridge leaders in mixed-gender groups. As bridge leaders, they fostered ties between the social movement and the community, between strategies (aimed at individual change, identity, and consciousness) and political strategies (aimed at organizational tactics designed to challenge existing relationships with the state and other societal institutions). The African American, Asian American, Native American, and Chicana women’s movements did not emerge after the second-wave feminist movement, which mainly comprised white middle-class women, but simultaneously. In the case of women of color, African American, Latinx, Asian American, and Native American women have struggled for justice and equality on behalf of their specific racial–ethnic groups. Born out of gender inequality within their respective racial–ethnic movement, the activists formulated a multicultural/womanist feminism/womanism that addressed the intersectionality, race–ethnicity, gender, and class dimensions of their lived experiences.

Article

Differentiated Instruction and Inclusive Schooling  

Diana Lawrence-Brown

Differentiated instruction encompasses a wide range of responsive pedagogies, including individualized types and levels of curricula, teaching methods, materials, and assessment strategies. It has at its roots the impetus for effective inclusive schooling, providing supports directly within general education classrooms for students with the full range of exceptionalities (both significant disabilities and giftedness) and other diverse educational characteristics such as cultural and linguistic background and socioeconomic status. To effectively include students with higher levels of need, comparable levels of supports follow the student from the special education setting to the general education classroom. This enriched level of support in the general education classroom benefits not only students with disabilities, but the class as a whole. The legal and ethical bases for inclusive schooling are connected with various civil rights movements (including race, disability, culture and language, gender); it can be viewed as a response to segregated schooling (and denial of schooling altogether). Schools frequently remove students when traditional educational programs fail, adding on separate programs rather than rectifying the existing system. Such special programs have been routinely promulgated without substantial evidence of their effectiveness over supportive general education classrooms (either for segregated students or for their unlabeled general education peers). Important aspects of differentiated instruction and inclusive schooling include multilevel instruction; authentic and culturally responsive curricula, methods, and assessment; universal design for learning; assistive and instructional technologies; positive behavioral supports; and a collaborative team approach to instructional decision-making and delivery. Differentiated instruction and effective inclusive schooling are vital for equitable access to educational opportunities, bringing more responsive curricula, methods, and perspectives to increasingly diverse classrooms and schools.

Article

1964 Freedom Schools in the United States  

Kristal Moore Clemons

The 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project served thousands of children and adults in over 40 Freedom Schools created to combat voter suppression and encourage youth to engage in the Civil Rights Movement. The Mississippi Freedom Summer Project included three main initiatives: Freedom Schools and community centers, voter registration on the official state rolls, and a freedom registration plan designed to independently elect a slate of delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Voter registration was the cornerstone of the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and approximately 17,000 Black residents of Mississippi attempted to register to vote in 1964, but only 1,600 of the applications were accepted by the registrars. The Freedom Schools utilized a curriculum focused on the philosophical tenets of the Civil Rights Movement, arithmetic, reading, writing, and African American history. The purpose was to supplement what children in the various counties in Mississippi were not receiving in their traditional public school setting. Marian Wright Edelman, activist and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), reinvigorated the contemporary Freedom Schools movement in the 1990s. The CDF’s Black Community Crusade for Children saw the CDF Freedom Schools program as an intergenerational collaboration between Civil Rights Movement–era activists and younger generations.

Article

Reforms of Staffing in Primary and Secondary Education in Greece  

Labros Babalioutas

Education is one of the most important public institutions, which is explicitly enshrined in the Greek Constitution. The qualitative upgrading of education is directly related not only to the way in which its structures are organized but also to the way in which the syllabus and the allocation of adequate personnel are well planned and organized. The constitutional imperatives of equality, transparency, and meritocracy, together with the highly selective process of recruiting teaching personnel, provide the setting for teacher recruitment in primary and secondary education. In the process of filling vacancies, the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection (ASEP), a constitutionally guaranteed independent authority, holds a written competition; and through its legislation (Act 2190/1994), the council classifies the candidates in descending order based on their overall score, taking into account both their performance in the written competition and other academic criteria, such as educational competence, past educational experience, social criteria, and more. Unfortunately, the application of this law has been prevented since 2010 due to the financial crisis that has been gripping Greece during the last nine years and the reduction of public sector executives as part of the “reforms” agreed by Greek governments and the lending institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. The need to separate basic public policies (such as education) from the difficult financial framework is imperative because education is the best “inheritance” that a nation can leave to future generations, especially when it is directly linked to transparent and meritorious structures and procedures.