Phi Delta Kappan

Founded in 1915, the Phi Delta Kappan is a professional policy journal for K-12 educators and is owned and published by Phi Delta Kappa International. Also referred to as the Kappan, the journal runs concurrently with the U.S. school year, with issues being released September to May and a combined December/January issue. The Kappan's editorial headquarters are located in Bloomington, Ind.The Kappan has a circulation of 33,000 subscribers and publishes articles directed to an audience of K-12 teachers, principals, superintendents, school district administrators and professors. Founded in 1906 to serve all members of the educational community, the journal's owner, Phi Delta Kappa International, maintains a large network of campus-based chapters with members in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Articles within the journal primarily address issues related to educational research, service and leadership. Examples of specialized topics within these articles include information on inclusion, class size, testing, tenure, professional certification and alternative school systems. In addition to featured articles, each year the journal publishes results of the Phi Delta Kappa International "Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitude Toward the Public Schools."In June of 2010,the APEX 2010 Awards honored Phi Delta Kappan's Editor-in-Chief, Joan Richardson, and Design Director, Carol Bucheri, for Publication Excellence. Richardson received a Grand Award for her Kappan column, "The Editor's Note," and Bucheri received an APEX Award of Excellence in the Best Redesigns category–an award category that includes highly competitive submissions from a wide range of professional journals, newspapers, newsletters, annual reports, brochures and websites. The Editor-in-Chief of the Phi Delta Kappan is Joan Richardson. David M. Ruetschlin is Managing Editor and Carol Bucheri is Design Director.

Articles from Vol. 93, No. 4, December

A Crash Course on Giving: Grades: Grades Tell Students How Well They Did in Comparison to Each Other, but Almost Nothing of What They Need to Work on to Get Better
Grades. Almost no one likes them. Most students deplore them, many teachers hate giving them, and I haven't met one teacher who enjoys the process of determining them. In fact, "grading" is often the bane of a teacher's existence. Yet, it must be done--at...
China's Higher Education Lacks Higher Learning
Two teams of five Chinese college students face off in an English debate over the effectiveness of China's college entrance examination, the gaokao. Their claims are borderline weak but well-articulated. The discussion carries on smoothly until the...
Closing School for the Holidays - Whose Holidays? Deciding How Schools Handle Holidays Is a Simple Yet Powerful Way to Demonstrate the Values on Which This Country Was Founded
In the 1930s, the students in District 73.5 in Skokie, Ill., on Chicago's North Shore were all white and mostly Christian. Thirty years later, more than half the population was Jewish. With significant numbers of Jewish teachers and students, Skokie...
Comic Books' Latest Plot Twist: Enhancing Literacy Instruction: Graphic Novels Can Add Value to Literacy Instruction, Especially for Struggling or Disaffected Readers
Students need to acquire literacy skills and strategies for understanding, thinking about, and using information garnered from what they read. In formal settings, literacy training usually begins with picture books, becomes more complex with structured...
Face to Faith Teaching Global Citizenship: Videoconferencing Connects Students of Different Faiths around the Globe to Help Them Learn about Religion and Global Issues
American education has woven multiculturalism into its schools and curricula, with the glaring exception of religious diversity. While there is significant agreement among educators that religions can and should be part of the curriculum in public...
Faith from the Fringes: Religious Minorities in School: Public Schools Should Not Support One Religion over Another, but the Nation's Christian Majority Poses Social and Logistical Challenges to Students Who Are Religious Minorities
Ethan fantasizes about the milkshakes in the school cafeteria, even though he brings his lunch from home every day because his family keeps kosher. Sameera is not sure what to say when girls see her in the bathroom washing her face, arms, and feet...
Flipping Classrooms
Teachers across the country are experimenting with "flipping" their classrooms, a concept in which they invert traditional instruction so students use what used to be homework time listening to lectures and moving what used to be homework into classrooms....
Getting Religion Right in Public Schools: If We Can't Get This Right in Public Schools, We Have Little Hope of Getting This Right in the Public Square of What Is Now the Most Religiously Diverse Nation on Earth
Contrary to culture-war rhetoric from the Right, there is more student religious expression and more study about religion in public schools today than at any time in the last 100 years. And contrary to dire warnings from the Left, much of the religion...
Religion in America: Facts and Figures
Americans remain confused about where to draw the line between teaching and preaching in the public schools. 9-in-10 know that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that teachers are not allowed to lead a class in prayer. But Americans still don't understand...
Schools Could Be the Happiest Places on Earth
Imagine you're going to a place where you could learn new things from smart people who care about you, laugh with your friends throughout the day, and dream about the future. Wouldn't you be happy there? Most schools are set up to be such places, with...
Scotland-Being Different
If you really want to annoy a Scot, refer to Scot land as part of England. Though now part of the United Kingdom, Scot land was a separate country for much of its history, leading to sharply different values and practices. Scotland has a more egalitarian...
Seriously Data-Driven Decision Making: Searching for Solutions to Operational Challenges, Big City Districts Found Answers for Each Other
With the economy still stuck in low gear and states approaching the "funding cliff " that marks the end of federal stimulus help for education, almost all school districts will be feeling even more financial pain than they're experiencing now. The...
Sounding the Charge for Change: How Leaders Communicate Can Inspire or Defeat the Troops
One of the most dramatic scenes in Shakespeare's "Henry V" occurs on the eve of the great St. Crispin's Day battle. The king stands before his ailing, battle-weary troops, and uses his words to renew their spirits and resolve: "That he which hath no...
Taking on Multitasking: Students Will Continue to Media Multitask-To Their Own Detriment. Nonetheless, Teachers Can Limit the Multitasking Effect and Improve Learning
The average high school upperclassman reports spending between seven and eight hours a day using various electronic media, such as television and cellular phones. Of those eight hours, only about 25% is spent watching television, which means the rest...
Teachers and Faith: Public Schools Have Been and Will Continue to Be Appropriate Places for Teachers of Faith Who Respect the Legal and Ethical Boundaries of This Open Forum
Parker Palmer writes, "Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher" (1998, p. 10)--a simple premise with complex implications. Teachers aren't mere technicians who simply replicate...
Teaching for Religious Tolerance in Modesto: Just Enough, but Not Too Much
A unique, required world religions course demonstrates the difference that knowledge can make in creating more civil school environments for students of all faiths. "I had a Hindu person living across the street, and they'd be praying to a statue....
The Stunning Power of Good, Traditional Lessons
ACT reading scores have dropped again--to 1970s' levels. No doubt, a variety of factors account for this. But one of them is how we teach. How much impact would reasonably good, well-structured classroom lessons have on ACT scores or on virtually any...
Up-and-Coming Leader: Daphne Chandler "Gets It"
A woman who "got it"--and who also happened to be a Kappan--changed Daphne Chandler's life. Now Chandler is pursuing a career in educational psychology at the university level to change and improve the lives of students whose race, grades, or socioeconomic...
Vouchers Redux
When House Republicans cut a trillion-dollar budget deal with Senate Democrats and the White House last spring, Speaker of the House John Boehner demanded a couple of pot sweeteners. One was relaunching the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program that...
What Are Achievement Gains Worth-To Teachers? School Performance Bonuses in New York City Did Not Appear to Inspire Teachers to Work Harder or Differently and Had No Effect on Student Outcomes
Using financial incentives tied to performance has become a popular re-form strategy in the education sector and beyond. Advocates of such incentives argue that they'll motivate educators to improve their practice and attract more teachers to the profession;...
When Missions Collide Theological Certainty and Democratic Education: Providing a Democratic Education Includes Encouraging Open Inquiry and Discussion-Even If That Conflicts with a Teacher's Personal Beliefs
One spring afternoon in my elementary social studies methods class, I was preparing students for a discussion about including "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Students had learned about the history of the Pledge leading up to the 2004 Supreme...