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Stories by Iman Rastegari

By Bobby Dorigo Jones, Iman Rastegari 02/07/2017 11:32 AM EST
Asil Yassine
A teacher’s first couple of years in the classroom can be trying, even more so if they are tasked with teaching children who know little English. Master’s candidate Asil Yassine admits this was true for her in her two years teaching grades 6, 11, and 12 in Detroit. “I didn’t really know how to support my own English Language Learner (ELL) population,” she says, even though Yassine herself had struggled to learn English while in elementary school in Plano, Texas. She enrolled in the Ed School’s Language and Literacy Program hoping to learn how to better support ELL students. “I was interested...
By Bari Walsh, Iman Rastegari 02/04/2017 8:39 AM EST
Multigenerational family with grandmother, infant, and mother
What do you learn as a parent? When we think of the answers to that question, we mostly think in terms of our children's early years — of qualities like patience and selflessness, or of all that we don't know. As our children age into adolescence, the narrative shifts, and relationships evolve in ways that aren't always comfortable. But in her new book, sociologist and educator Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot reimagines adolescence as a period when deeper learning can begin, learning that can extend through the rest of our lives, as our now-adult children can transform us, emotionally and even...
By Bari Walsh, Iman Rastegari 01/30/2017 12:47 PM EST
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
Among the many passages that life offers as we age, there is one we navigate almost unthinkingly: the passage of our children from "our children" to fully realized adults. There's a certain script society offers — one rooted in stereotypes about difficult adolescences, the difficulty of letting go, or even sitcom versions of meddling in-laws. But Professor Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, eminent sociologist and educator, urges us to look with fresh eyes at what that passage may present: unique opportunities for learning, growth, and reconciliation, which can enrich our middle and later years in...
By Iman Rastegari 12/23/2016 6:35 AM EST
Each year, the Harvard Graduate School of Education produces stories, podcasts, and videos that offer innovative strategies, research-backed solutions, and messages of inspiration to our wide community of educators. As 2016 comes to a close, we looked back over the best of the year, picking out the stories most likely to fuel you through the holidays and ignite your creativity in the new year. So from us, here’s something to carry with you in 2017. Happy holidays to all, with our best wishes for the new year! Good Cheer: Small encouragements can have long-lasting effects. Reflection:...
By Iman Rastegari, Leah Shafer 12/22/2016 1:54 PM EST
A graphic with icons of students and teacher, illustrating affirmation coming from teacher
With an unsettling year drawing to a close, many educators are increasingly aware of race: how it impacts student achievement and how it obstructs connections between people. But as we hope for a new year filled with equity and kindness in schools and beyond, research offers some encouraging insights. Confronting racial tensions, biases, and microaggressions can have powerful effects. But schools may also benefit from widening the lens. Behavioral psychologist Todd Pittinsky has found that when white teachers encourage and model overtly welcoming interactions between students of different...
By Iman Rastegari, Leah Shafer 12/21/2016 1:34 PM EST
Hands shown opening a book of poems
Clint Smith, a writer and teacher, uses poetry to help students understand that digging into uncertainty can be just as important as finding solutions — an unfamiliar concept for many young people. We asked Smith, a Harvard Graduate School of Education Ph.D. candidate, to read one of his poems with us — a selection from his debut collection Counting Descent. We also asked him to talk about how he approaches poetry in the classroom and as a writer. Watch the video here, and read excerpts from our longer interview below. “Poetry doesn’t mean you need to have the answers.”
“I think that so...
By Iman Rastegari 12/12/2016 11:35 AM EST
A Global Vision for Schooling
Founded in 2013 by Sara Ahmed, a master’s candidate in the International Education Policy Program, the Alexandria, Egypt-based Elm International School encourages children to connect with the world and works to foster understanding rather than fear.
By Iman Rastegari 11/23/2016 10:12 AM EST
Longfellow Leaves
By Iman Rastegari 11/21/2016 1:53 PM EST
Megan Shaw
Between the return of Navajo schools to local control and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests, issues concerning American Indians are front and center this November, which marks National Native American Heritage Month. Master's student Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, Oglala Lakota and a member of the HGSE student group Future Indigenous Educators Resisting Colonial Education (FIERCE) — which prepares educators to resist the manifestations of colonialism in school systems — has thrown herself into the work of advocacy, helping organize protests and events at HGSE, including a donation drive for...
By Iman Rastegari 11/03/2016 11:19 AM EDT
Empowering Refugee Youth
Motivating refugee and immigrant youth has long been a passion for master's student Mark Kabban. This led to his creation of Yalla (Youth and Leaders Living Actively) in his hometown of San Diego, an organization that uses soccer to engage refugee children and help inspire them toward a future that will include college. Now enrolled in the Ed School's Technology, Innovation, and Education Program, Kabban — along with his classmate Alethea Campbell, whom he met in Associate Professor Karen Brennan's T-550: Designing for Learning by Creating — is working on a curriculum for Yalla that will help...


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