The Truth about Outliers


Troublemakers by Carla Shalaby
The New Press, March 7, 2017

In Troublemakers, Carla Shalaby questions the efficacy of common management techniques for students who are behavioral outliers. She asks what the students’ behavior can tell us about them as human beings and as learners, and what lessons these students have for educators and their peers. These students are too often made to conform to systems that value invisibility over individual freedom. For Shalaby, teaching is a political act. Shalaby suggests that educators recenter their practice in love. In independent schools, students are often asked to conform to the existing institutional structures including behavior expectations. Troublemakers offers an opportunity to see these institutional practices from the point of view of the most vulnerable students who experience the full weight of them. Independent schools were born out of a desire for the freedom to educate children in accordance with community values. It is in the interest of freedom that Shalaby suggests educators take a critical look at how schools nurture freedom of learning for all students.

Submitted By: Jenel Giles, Bank Street School for Children, New York, NY

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