Fires in Our Lives
Advice for Teachers from Today's High School Students
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A sequel to the classic Fires in the Bathroom that illuminates what adolescents most need from teachers in today's upsetting times
The context in which adolescents are learning has shifted radically since students first offered blunt advice to high school teachers in the groundbreaking Fires in the Bathroom, a perennial bestseller. Now their world is changing at warp speed, and classrooms too are seething with anxiety. This sequel raises the voices of diverse youth around the nation as they live through the mind-bending quandaries of this era and ask their teachers to notice.
In Fires in Our Lives
, Kathleen Cushman and her co-authors Kristien Zenkov and Meagan Call-Cummings (both leaders in bringing student voices to teacher education) present new first-person testimony on how today's youth experience the risks and challenges of high school. The students who speak here need their teachers more than ever as they navigate cultural, social, and political borders in their communities. Reinforced by classroom examples and supplemented with helpful takeaways, Fires in Our Lives
offers a compelling dialogue about students' emotions, ideas, and developing agency.
In a world that sorely needs the thoughtful participation of its rising generation, this new staple belongs on every high school teacher's bookshelf.
New Press, 9781620975435, 256pp.
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
About the Author
Kathleen Cushman is the author of Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students and the co-author (with Laura Rogers) of Fires in the Middle School Bathroom. Student motivation and mastery are the subjects of her recent books Fires in the Mind and The Motivation Equation. Her work with the national nonprofit What Kids Can Do, Inc., which she co-founded with Barbara Cervone in 2001, includes extensive documentation of adolescent learning in print and mixed media. She lives in New York City.Kristien Zenkov, PhD, is a professor of education and the Academic Program coordinator for the Secondary Education (SEED) program at George Mason University. He has long experience as a boundary-spanning educator and a facilitator of school-university partnerships. Currently he co-directs the Youth Participatory Action Research and photovoice project Through Students' Eyes, in which young people document with photographs and writings their beliefs about citizenship, justice, school, and literacy. Meagan Call-Cummings, PhD, is an assistant professor of Qualitative Methods at George Mason University. She specializes in participatory action research (PAR) and other methodologies undergirded by critical, feminist, and participatory theories and pedagogies.