Not Light, But Fire

How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom

Matthew Kay has spent his career learning how to lead students through the most difficult race conversations. He not only makes the case that high school classrooms are one of the best places to have those conversations, but he also offers a method for getting them right.

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Description

Do you feel prepared to initiate and facilitate meaningful, productive dialogues about race in your classroom? Are you looking for practical strategies to engage with your students?

Inspired by Frederick Douglass's abolitionist call to action, “it is not light that is needed, but fire” Matthew Kay has spent his career learning how to lead students through the most difficult race conversations. Kay not only makes the case that high school classrooms are one of the best places to have those conversations, but he also offers a method for getting them right, providing candid guidance on:

  • How to recognize the difference between meaningful and inconsequential race conversations.
  • How to build conversational “safe spaces,” not merely declare them.
  • How to infuse race conversations with urgency and purpose.
  • How to thrive in the face of unexpected challenges.
  • How administrators might equip teachers to thoughtfully engage in these conversations.

With the right blend of reflection and humility, Kay asserts, teachers can make school one of the best venues for young people to discuss race.

 

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A reminder to educators to not sidestep or oversimplify conversations about race, but to engage students in them as scholars with voices and experiences that are just as important as those of the adult in the classroom.

Erika Smith

Teaching Tolerance

 

 

    Matt Kay on "Safe Spaces"

    About the Author(s)

    Matthew R. Kay is a proud product of Philadelphia’s public schools and a founding teacher at Science Leadership Academy (SLA). He is a graduate of West Chester University and holds a Masters in Educational Leadership with a Principals’ Certificate from California University of Pennsylvania.

    1

    Table of Contents

    • Acknowledgments
    • Introduction—Not Light, But Fire: The Case for Meaningful Conversations

     

    • PART 1: THE ECOSYSTEM
    • Chapter 1—Demystifying the “Safe Space”
    • Chapter 2—Developing Your “Talking Game”
    • Chapter 3—Structuring Your Dialogic Curriculum
    • Chapter 4—Establishing Your Purpose

     

    • PART 2: A STUDY OF CONVERSATIONS
    • Chapter 5—The N-Word: Facing It Head-On
    • Chapter 6—“Say It Right”: Unpacking the Cultural Significance of Names
    • Chapter 7—Playing the Other: Thoughtfully Tackling Cultural Appropriation
    • Chapter 8—Pop-Up Conversations: Lessons from the 2016 Presidential Election
    • Epilogue
    • References
    • Index

    Resources

    Product Details

    Grade Range: 6-12
    Media: 288 pp/paper
    Year: 2018
    Item No: 1098
    ISBN: 978-1-62531-098-9
    Hashtag: #NotLight

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