CENTER for Teaching Social Responsibility
educates young people for hopeful and intelligent engagement
with their world. A
national leader in fostering social and emotional learning (SEL),
Morningside Center reaches tens of thousands of educators and
students each year through an array of programs that develop
such skills as handling anger, being assertive, solving conflicts
creatively and nonviolently, and dealing well with diversity.
We help teachers make their classrooms more caring and productive.
We support students in taking leadership to improve their communities--from
the classroom to the world.
Please help us keep up the good work:
Make an online contribution!
SERVICES IN SCHOOLS:
our latest newsletter:
Action News, Spring 2010
2008-2009 ANNUAL REPORT
New gold-standard study shows our 4Rs Program helps kids do better
socially, emotionally & academically.
researchers at New York University, Fordham University, and Harvard
have published their findings from a three-year, federally funded
study of Morningside Center's 4Rs Program (Reading, Writing, Respect
& Resolution). The study tracked the development of children
in nine New York City elementary schools that implemented the
program compared with children in nine control schools.
from the first two years of the study are now official: Compared
with children in the control schools, children in the 4Rs schools
were less hyperactive, less aggressive, and saw their social world
as less hostile. They were happier and more likely to resolve
interpersonal problems competently.
more, during the first year children judged to be at greatest
behavioral risk by their teachers had better attendance than their
counterparts in the control schools and made better academic progress
as rated by teachers. By the second year, they were also doing
better on standardized tests. In addition, 4Rs schools had significantly
higher levels of overall classroom quality compared to control
What's New on TeachableMoment.Org
Morningside Center's website of free teacher resources, provides
timely, inquiry-oriented lessons on issues of the day. Newly posted
CLIMATE CHANGE: Fitting the Facts Together & Acting on Them
readings explore the scientific evidence on global warming, the
views of climate change deniers, and ideas for student action
on climate change, including a day of action on October
10, 2010, sponsored by 350.org, Greenpeace and
the Rainforest Action Network.
over the NYC Muslim Community Center & the 9/11 Experience
(for younger students) (9/22/10)
lesson asks children to watch and discuss three public service
announcements by the Council on American Islamic Relations featuring
Muslims who were part of the 9/11 rescue effort; consider the
news about the controversy over the Cordoba Project ("Ground
Zero Mosque"), and discuss a Niemoller poem that relates
to standing up for the rights of others.
(for younger students) (9/15/10)
talk about their cultural heritage, watch
an online video about American Muslims, discuss
their understanding of Islam and Muslims, and share their own
being treated unfairly.
TO KNOW YOU: Classroom Activities for Starting Off the School
28-page PDF booklet includes great activities to get your class
(grades preK-12) off to a good start in the new school year.
ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Does it Violate ''Due Process' and 'Equal
student reading provides an excerpt from Judge Walker's ruling
that California's Prop 8 is unconstitutional and describes competing
opinions on gay marriage. A critical thinking activity follows.
'STAGGERING DISASTER': How Students Can Help (9/1/10)
brief student reading suggesting the dimensions of the crisis
is followed by suggestions for student discussion and inquiry,
and ways to translate compassion into action.
MUSLIM COMMUNITY CENTER: Why There? Why Not? (8/30/10)
student readings describe plans for the controversial center,
multiple perspectives about it, and an overview of mosque protests
in New York City and elsewhere. Suggestions for a fish bowl discussion
IS JUST TO SAY: NCLB and Race to the Top Leave Education Behind
Shapiro's essay challenges us to consider current education policies
and what real reform might look like.
QAEDA AND THE TALIBAN: What Threat to the U.S.? (8/4/10)
Obama continues to maintain that Al Qaeda and the Taliban "threaten
America and its allies." Is he right? Three student readings
present some of the basic background information on Al Qaeda and
the Taliban and on differing views of counterinsurgency.
FACTS WITH SNOPES, FACTCHECK & POLITIFACT (7/14/10)
internet is loaded with information--but much of it is inaccurate.
Three student readings examine three reliable factchecking sources--Snopes,
FactCheck, and PolitiFact. Discussion questions, writing assignments
and opportunities for group work follow.
TO CLOSE THE SCHOOL YEAR (6/23/10)
all grades) Five activities use different methodologies to help
you and your students reflect on the year and look ahead to next
US OFFICIALS & HEALTH PROFESSIONALS BE INVESTIGATED FOR WAR
student readings consider a new study by Physicians for Human
Rights of the Bush administration's use of health professionals
to monitor "enhanced" interrogations, reactions to the
issue, and historical examples of medical
experimentation. Discussion questions and suggestions for other
TEXAS SOCIAL STUDIES CONTROVERSY (6/16/10)
learn about the Texas Board of Education's controversial new standards
and consider whether they approve of ten items included in the
OIL SPILL: What happened, and who is responsible? (for
younger grades) (6/9/10)
discuss the massive BP oil spill and view two short videos as
they consider what happened in the gulf, their own consumption
of oil, and who should be held responsible for the spill.
WALL STREET & Its Booms, Bubbles & Busts (6/9/10)
student readings outline the near collapse of the U.S. financial
system, the deceptiveactions of brokers and banks, and the financial
reform bills Congress is nowo considering.
HAVE THE RIGHT TO EAVESDROP ON YOU?
Three student readings explore the legal conflict over whether
the government can claim "state secrets privilege" to
tap people's phones, review email, and examine internet usage.
Discussion questions and suggested activities follow.
GULF CATASTROPHE (5/21/10)
An introduction and three student readings explore the vast BP
spill, who is responsible, and problems with the Minerals Management
CONTROVERSIAL NEW IMMIGRATION LAW (5/12/10)
student readings consider the law, a new poll on immigration policies,
and the story of one undocumented immigrant. Discussion questions,
a pair-share dialogue, and suggested additional activities follow.
Divided City in a Divided Land.
student readings explore the Israeli/Palestinian conflict over
Jerusalem, tensions between the US and Israel over the issue,
and how it affects US relations with Arab nations and peoples.
PRINCE'S SUICIDE HIGHLIGHTS THE PRESSING ISSUE OF BULLYING
Two student readings describe the events leading to the
young girl's suicide, the depth of the bullying problem and an
approach to countering it. Following the readings is an outline
for small group discussion in which students share their experiences
with bullying and discuss what their school is doing or should
do to counter bullying.
Obama: 'TOWARD A WORLD WITHOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS'
An introduction and two student readings explore Obama's
pledge to move toward nuclear abolition, obstacles to it, and
current analysis from author Jonathan Schell. Discussion questions
and suggestions for further inquiry and citizenship activities
PROM DATE: A Civil Liberties Issue
McMillen, who is lesbian, wanted to attend her senior prom with
her girlfriend. A student reading describes the controversy and
court ruling that ensued. Discussion questions and a writing assignment
VERY CONTROVERSIAL HEALTH INSURANCE LAW (4/7/10)
Student readings provide an overview of the new health insurance
legislation and conflicting views about it. Discussion questions
and a writing assignment follow.
BILL EASES STUDENT DEBT - But Maybe College Should be Free
A student reading describes the problem of college debt and provisions
of the new reform law. A second reading presents arguments comparing
college debt to indentured servitude and calling for free college
education. Discussion questions and writing and citizenship actions
Shapiro offers a process (including two student readings) to help
students conduct a rigorous inquiry into the controversy over
TEA PARTY MOVEMENT: 'Take our country back'
three readings, students explore the origins of the movement,
its anti-government anger, its alliances, and consider its relationship
to what historian Richard Hofstadter called 'The Paranoid Style
in American Politics.' Discussion questions and subjects for inquiry
and writing follow.
MEANS AT OUR DISPOSAL: The case of Binyam Mohamed (3/17/10)
student readings examine the story of this British resident,who
was recently released after being held by the U.S. for seven years
as a suspected terrorist. Discussion questions, a proposed fish
bowl discussion, and suggested subjects for further inquiry and
for writing and citizenship follow.
TERRORISM vs. THE RULE OF LAW (3/3/10)
student readings consider the controversy over the Bush administration
attorneys who counseled that 'enhanced interrogation techniques'
Still in Crisis, but No Longer in the News
(2/24/10) Marieke van Woerkom's activity helps younger
students consider how Haitians are faring now that the news media
has largely moved on.
ECONOMIC HARDSHIP & What to Do About It (2/17/10)
Through three readings, students examine U.S. joblessness
and hunger as well as the country's huge deficit, then consider
conflicting views on how to address these problems. Discussion
questions and suggestions for further inquiry and citizenship
DO TERRORISTS WANT TO KILL AMERICANS? (2/9/10)
Exploring the "why" of terrorist attacks is controversial
in the U.S. Three student readings explore this controversy--and
terrorists' possible motives.
ZINN: People's Historian (2/3/10)
The important and often controversial historian and social
movement activist Howard Zinn died on January 27. A student reading
about the man and his ideas is followed by discussion questions
and suggestions for further inquiry and citizenship.
Court Rejects Limits on CORPORATE ELECTION SPENDING
student quiz, reading and discussion explore the court's role
in interpreting the Constitution and its recent decision to lift
limits on corporate & union election ad spending.
your students learn about the earthquake and Haiti's history,
and brainstorm about how they can help Haitians now and in the
School: DEVASTATION IN HAITI
& Middle School: WHAT IS HAPPENING IN HAITI?
INTO SCHOOLS (1/20/10)
Shapiro reviews the new book by Greg Mortenson, whose mission
is to "promote peace through books, not bombs" in Pakistan
Dr. Martin Luther King: THE POWER OF NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE
engaging activities, video, and small-group discussion, elementary
or middle school students consider the Montgomery Bus Boycott
and how they might stand up against injustice in their own lives.
DRONE STRIKE CONTROVERSY (1/13/10)
student readings explore the controversy over the use of remotely-piloted
aircraft to drop bombs in the Afghanistan/Pakistan war. Discussion
questions, a fish bowl activity and a writing assignment follow.
SENATE FILIBUSTER & DEMOCRACY
A classroom activity has students simulate a US Senate filibuster.
Two student readings then explore the Senate's less-than-democratic
60-vote rule and possible methods for reforming it. Discussion
questions, writing and citizenship activities follow.
THE IRAQ WAR TO A 'RESPONSIBLE END'
student readings and discussion questions probe current conditions
in Iraq and the U.S.'s moral responsibilities there.
IT TAKES A WHOLE SCHOOL TO COUNTER BULLYING
An open letter to the New York Times
The New York Times' June 27 story "Online
Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray" provides a window
into a highly disturbing aspect of life in our schools. It should
be a wake-up call for school leaders and education officials:
We urgently need to take positive action to transform adults'
and students' attitudes--and the entire climate in our schools.
300 principals, teachers, students, and education leaders attended Morningside
Center's conference on May 22, Courageous Schools: Putting Social &
Emotional Learning at the Heart of Education.
"We organized this first
annual conference to help build the national movement for social
and emotional learning," says Morningside Center executive
director Tom Roderick. "And judging from the number of people
who came and their level of excitement, I'd say that movement
is growing fast." (See Tom's rousing opening
address.) The all-day conference, which took place at
NYC's Bank Street College, was sold out three weeks in advance.
Among the conference highlights:
Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence)
gave a lively and thought-provoking keynote address focusing on new brain research
showing the connection between social and emotional competency and academic learning.
two rounds of meaty workshops, principals, teachers,
and other educators facilitated discussions on best practices in SEL.
Roderick awarded Connie Cuttle of the NYC Department of
Education the first Courageous Educator award, and she accepted with some vivid
reflections on her decades of work as a teacher and education leader.
panel of young peer mediators wowed the audience in a discussion
about peacemaking led by Morningside Center's Tala Manassah.
Lindamichellebaron brought wit and poetry to the day.
are deeply grateful to all those who made this conference a success: the principals,
teachers and others who led the workshops and to all our presenters; conference
organizer Mara Gross; the principals on our conference planning committee; our
conference volunteers; videographer Carolina Kroon and photographer Chris Smith;
the wonderful staff of Bank Street College; and to the Tiger Foundation, New York
Community Trust, and JP Morgan Chase Foundation. Thanks, everyone!
clockwise from top left: Dan Goleman; Morningside Center Board Chair Joyce
Dudley; workshop with Emma Gonzalez, Nydia Mendez, Sherley Guerrero and a student;
Tom Roderick presents award to Connie Cuttle. Photos
Christopher L. Smith.
schools chancellor Joel Klein, City Council Speaker
Morningside Center's Tom Roderick (standing), and
PS 24 principal Christina Fuentes watch a student Diversity Panel share their
experiences with bias and discuss what we can do to counter bias and foster respect
at the DOE's kickoff for Respect for All Week at PS 24 on March 8. See Respect
for All story below. Photo © Christopher L.
Dept. of Education highlights our partnership with PS 24
U.S. Department of Education's Doing What Works website identifies best practices
in schools across the country. We are delighted that the DOE has chosen to highlight
our partnership with PS 24 to foster students' social and emotional learning as
an example of how to "reduce behavior problems in elementary school classrooms."
What Works website for a rich multimedia portrait of our collaboration with
FOR ALL Week kicks
off at PS 24
PS 24, through its partnership with Morningside Center, has become a national
model for social and emotional learning. On March 8, 2010, NYC Department of Education
chancellor Joel Klein and NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn came to PS
24 to launch the chancellor's city-wide Respect for All week.
for All is the DOE's ambitious program to combat bullying and harassment on the
basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation,
or disability. Through the program, Morningside Center has been collaborating
with the Department of Education, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network,
Operation Respect, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Yes Program to design and
deliver workshops for staff from every school in the city on how to foster respect
and counter bias.
24 is a shining example of what can happen when a school puts social and emotional
learning at the heart of its work," says Morningside Center executive director
Tom Roderick. "At PS 24, students learn to celebrate differences and stand
up to discrimination as part of a comprehensive effort to develop their social
and emotional skills and build a caring community. The result is a respectful
school environment and outstanding academic progress. We're honored to contribute
to P.S. 24's success."
more info on our school-based programs, please contact Lillian Castro at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 212-870-3318 x33.
24 Principal receives award
March 9, PS 24 Principal Christina Fuentes received the Sloan Public Service Award
in recognition of her amazing work at PS 24. Congratulations, Christina and PS
24! See Tom
Roderick's recent profile of Christina Fuentes.
out our new how-to guide for schools!
with the Children: A Guide to Creating a PEACE HELPERS
new 73-page guide describes a field-tested, step-by-step process schools can use
to train and support young students (Grade K-2) in serving as "peace helpers"
in their classrooms. Peace Helpers take part in workshops to develop their skills
in listening, handling feelings, mediating conflicts, and leadership. Then they
and their teacher establish a classroom peace corner, where students can go if
they are upset or having a conflict. Peace Helpers are available to talk with
their classmates in the Peace Corner or help fellow students talk out a conflict.
video about our Peace Helpers Program at PS 24
a pdf version of the Peace Helper guide.
Or, to order bound copies, please email Morningside Center's Leslie Dennis at
with the Children was produced with support from the JAMS Foundation.
Diversity Work In the Media
part of its documentary The New York Connection, Dutch Public TV turned its cameras
on Morningside Center trainers Marieke van Woerkom and Emma Gonzalez, student
diversity panel members, and a mediation session led by young peer mediators --
all part of our ongoing diversity program at Brooklyn's PS 24. See our work in
action in this 5-minute video
Eleanor J. Bader's richly drawn portrait of Morningside Center's work in schools,
focusing on Brooklyn's PS 130, in the online publication On the Issues --Beginning
with the Children: To Teach Peace.
Morningside Center's Work
July 21, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aired a segment on the remarkable success
of Morningside Center's programs at Brooklyn's P.S. 24. The segment highlights
our classroom-based 4Rs Program (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution),
an innovative, research-based approach for fostering students' social and emotional
the NewsHour's story about our work at PS 24:
How can you foster social & emotional learning in your classroom? Here's a
sample unit from our 4Rs curriculum. more>>
See a sample activity from 4Rs Family Connections, which uses books children are
reading in 4Rs class to help open up parent-child communication. more>>
101: Ten tips for dealing well with conflict.
the Edutopia VIDEO about
the website of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, features Morningside Center's
work at this stellar public school.
28-page PDF booklet
includes great activities to get your class (grades preK-12) off to a good start
in the new school year.
A School of Our Own:
Power & Community at the East Harlem Block Schools
by Tom Roderick
powerful story of the generation of hope and of the power of a community to educate
--Educator/author Herb Kohl
Morningside Center's Executive
Director Tom Roderick tells the moving story of the Puerto Rican parents who created
better schools for their children, led a winning campaign to improve early childhood
services in NYC and empowered themselves in the process.
Teachers College Press or through
on this website are by Carolina Kroon www.carolinakroonphotography.com