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ERIC Number: ED497572
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-May
Pages: 50
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-1-9321-2104-8
Teaching through a Crisis: September 11 and Beyond. Occasional Paper Series 11
McKersie, Alison; Lent, Patricia; Rose, Megan; Stuart-Hunt, Rella; Edstrom, Lisa; Rothschild, Cynthia R.; Weisman, Alexandra; Delacorte, Kate; Vascellaro, Sal; Abell, Kate
Bank Street College of Education
The days following September 11, 2001, were characterized for many by a startling clarity, as if someone had applied a magnified lens to life's everyday routines and every moment, every gesture, every word exchanged with friends, colleagues and family was more nuanced and precious than before. The decision to publish this volume of essays was fueled by a desire to provide a vehicle through which educators could share their experiences of those events. Contributors wanted to know how teachers were addressing the questions raised by the tragedy: What kinds of conversations had been sparked among children, teachers and parents? How had curriculum shifted in response to a heretofore unimaginable event? These manuscripts examine the tension between an educator's professional obligations and his/her personal needs or commitments. Rose asks the question directly: When can I stop being a caregiver and be given care? For Lent, the tension is captured in a series of vignettes that explore the vulnerability that she felt on September 11 and for many days afterward. For Rothschild and Edstrom, the tension provides a springboard from which classroom practices are launched: Rothschild allowed a new level of questioning to enter her high school classroom; Edstrom created space and time for young children to re-imagine the reality of September 11 through block play. Administrator Delacorte explores the tensions between the needs of parents to protect their children from distressing information, maintaining an atmosphere of feeling safe and those of educators to help children make sense of complex social realities in the face of crisis. Extrapolating from the work of Lent and Delacorte, Vascellaro draws up a list of principles to assist adults respond to children living through a crisis. A year after the events that prompted this collection, Weisman's students attempt to envision an appropriate memorial and to reconstruct the World Trade Towers site. The poems of Stuart-Hunt and Abell act as photographic snapshots, bringing to the reader the immediacy of the moment. The poet Czeslaw Milosz wrote that poetry is valuable in difficult times, even while he recognizes that in our time "serious combat, where life is at stake/ is fought in prose." McKersie concludes that these words feel eerily applicable to the September 11 tragedy because, in the end, it is the power of ideas and the ability to express them that is the most effective tools in managing the trials and crises of life. Following introduction (Alison McKersie), the essays include: (1) "Safe" (Patricia Lent); (2) "A Story to Tell" (Megan Rose); (3) "Monday, September 17" (Rella Stuart-Hunt); (4) "Urn" (Rella Stuart-Hunt); (5) "Building Up: Block Play after September 11" (Lisa Edstrom); (6) "Living in Question" (Cynthia R. Rothschild); (7) "Re-Visioning the World Trade Center" (Alexandra Weisman); (8) "The Children Keep Reminding Us: One School's Experience after 9/11" (Kate Delacorte); (9) "Principles for Responding to Children in a Traumatic Time" (Sal Vascellaro); (10) "The NYC Board of Education Mandates Pledging Allegiance" (Kate Abell); and (11) "Forever Undone" (Kate Abell). [Visuals for Edstrom's "Building Up" and Delacorte's "The Children Keep Reminding Us" are available on CD-ROM. CD-ROM is not available from ERIC.]
Bank Street College of Education. 610 West 112th Street, New York, NY 10025. Tel: 212-961-3336; Tel: 212-875-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - General; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bank Street Coll. of Education, New York, NY.
Identifiers - Location: New York