Times of Challenge, Times of Opportunity

We are living through a great cultural change, while we are in the midst of something so big it is hard to see what is changing and where it will leave us. Still, as educators, this is the time to use the best of our historical knowledge and context setting to think in constructive ways about these times and to challenge our students to think in the same way. During the Civil War, Walt Whitman wanted to create a poem so noble, so beautiful that it would end war. “Song of Myself” sadly did not put an end to war but it did introduce an incredible vision of acceptance and equality, heralding the LBBTQ movement and profound recognition of our universality as well as our uniqueness. Henry David Thoreau looked at the devastating pollution and overcrowding of early industrialization, and with “Walden” laid a foundation for the environmental movement. With these and other examples, Amy Edelstein shows how we can think about these times and create a vision for a future that is more caring and just than the recent past we are coming out of. 

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