Magazines for Parents and Free-Thinking Educators

An update from the Utne stacks

Content Tools

Miss Staton believed a shy boy could play the lead in Lincoln Elementary School’s winter play. She was right: I could—and did. Mr. Rudenshiold, my high school journalism adviser, assigned me a column in the Dubuque Senior High School paper and gave me a copy of Writers’ Market. And now I’m living evidence that a little encouragement can go a long way.

I’m grateful for those teachers who vividly remembered their own childhoods, who knew what it was like to roil with energy, to despise constraint, yet yearn to satisfy unbridled curiosity. This same nurturing spirit is found today in a handful of magazines about ethical education.

Paths of Learning is one of the best. Promoting humanistic education and focusing on "learner-centered perspectives," it regularly contains both excellent articles and resource listings. (Box 328, Brandon, VT 05733; $19.95 for 4 issues;www.great-ideas.org)

Another excellent general-interest journal, Our Schools, Our Selves, has recently featured articles on standardized testing and Wal-Mart’s controversial 'Adopt-a-School' program. Engagingly written, it bridges a gap between theory and practice. (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 410-75 Albert St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5E7; $30 for 4 issues;www.policyalternatives.ca)

The consciously political tabloid Rethinking Schools ('an urban educational journal') focuses on multicultural high school classrooms, with a special emphasis on current events. A recent special section examined how to use the September 11 tragedy as a teachable moment. (1001 Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212; $15 for 4 issues;www.rethinkingschools.org) 

Green Teacher ("Education for Planet Earth") contains practical articles on such topics as planting schoolyard trees and gardens, building a working model of a stream, and demonstrating environmental concepts to special needs students. Each issue also contains resource listings and reviews. (Box 452, Niagara Falls, NY 14304-0452; $26 for 4 issues; www.greenteacher.com)

Radical Teacher has published two issues recently on demystifying global economics, with syllabi, bibliographies, and articles on teaching grassroots economics (from the point of view of workers, not investors). The magazine is also a good source of reviews of education-related books. (Box 382616, Cambridge, MA 02238-2616; $15 for 3 issues;www.wpunj.edu/radteach)

Also noteworthy: the home-schooling magazine Home Education (Box 1083, Tonasket, WA 98855; $32 for 6 issues;www.home-ed-magazine.com); the academic journal Feminist Teacher (Department of English, 405 Hibbard Hall,University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, WI 54702; $25 for 3 issues); and Paping, a little pictorial zine about teaching art in New York City (John Mejias, 60 St. Marks Place, Apt. 4, New York, NY 10003; it’s free, but I suggest sending a donation).

This Just In 

Printed Matter, matchless disseminator of artists’ publications, at long last has a Web site: www.printedmatter.org. The nonprofit organization sells inexpensive and zinelike printed items as opposed to precious 'book objects.' It’s just the place to find the classic A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel or odd works by Miekal And, co-founder of Wisconsin’s rural experiment Dreamtime Village.

Snowbound ("part literary journal, part ice hockey fanzine, and part Nordic-Baltic music review") is consistently well written and interesting. The new issue (#4) is published in two booklets, with comics by Pekka Allan Manninen and contributor profiles focused entirely on coffee preferences. (PMB 708, 3023 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60657-5205; $5 forone issue; www.keikomedia.com)

Culture Change is the new title for Auto-Free Times, starting with the Late Fall 2001 edition (#19). The nonprofit Sustainable Energy Institute magazine continues to cover a broad range of issues related to ecology and sustainable living. (Box 4347, Arcata, CA 95518; $20 for 4 issues; www.culturechange.org)

Xerography Debt is the new title for Xerox Debt. Davida Gypsy Breier changed the name of her review zine after receiving a "cease and desist" letter from Xerox Corporation. Issue #7 features zine recommendations from such reliable sources as Violet Jones (Spunk), Fred Argoff (Brooklyn!), and Donny Smith (Dwan). (Box 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078; $2 each; www.leekinginc.com/xeroxdebt.)