Recommended Resource

Creating Caring Classrooms
This is a new Canadian resource written by Kathleen Gould Lundy (York University) and Larry Schwartz (OISE) and published by Pembroke Publishers. Their work is rooted in the theoretical foundations of Nel Noddings and bell hooks in the areas of caring and community.

The book focuses on the Five Cs: Community, Communication, Collaboration, Compassion and Confronting the Bully Issue. The authors take their experiences working in classrooms and the issues that face teachers daily and use literacy and fine arts to explore core beliefs and values about learning and what it means to be part of a caring, classroom community.

For each area the context is set and we consider why it’s important to work on community or compassion in the classroom. This is followed by games, activities, lessons, events, teaching tips, literature connections, etc. There are case studies throughout the book that teachers will be able to relate to and will cause them to make connections to their own practice.

Although this would be a great summer read for teachers to consider how to establish community in their classrooms in the fall, I think there are also many valuable mid-year entry points for teachers. As teachers reflect on the tone and behaviour in their classrooms part way through the year, they may determine that there are some areas of need such as more caring attitudes or collaboration skills. This book will provide accessible classroom-friendly approaches to addressing the “big ideas” in teaching and learning. Supporting our students to become caring, compassionate citizens is the most significant part of our job.

Janice Novakowski