Magazines for Parents and Free-Thinking Educators

An update from the Utne stacks

| May-June 2002

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;

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;

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; 

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;