Resources for Difficult Conversations in the Classroom

The grand jury decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo on December 3rd sparked more nationwide protests and an outpouring of perspectives, including our own. With the death of Michael Brown still present in the minds of many, educators will be looking for support as they try to answer their students’ questions and engage in productive discussions about complicated topics. Here are some of the best resources we’ve come across so far:

  • How to Teach Kids About What’s Happening in Ferguson (The Atlantic). Dr. Marcia Chatelain of Georgetown University curates a round-up of voices that includes teachers, academics, community leaders, and parents, to weigh in on discussing the events in Ferguson in the classroom.
  • The Death of Michael Brown: Teaching About Ferguson (The New York Times Learning Network). A collection of news articles, forum responses and opinion pieces published between the death of Michael Brown in August and last week’s non-indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.
  • Staten Island and Ferguson: Considering the Responses (Morningside Center for Teaching Responsibility). An in-class guide for how to critically consider the range of responses from the public regarding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
  • Do’s and Don’ts for Teaching About Ferguson (The Root). A concise list of tips.
  • Talking With Students About Ferguson and Racism (Teaching Tolerance). A high school English teacher reflects on talking with her own students, and offers ideas and tools to make these discussions successful. 

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Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

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