Complete List of Case Studies

Challenges of Mandated Reporting

A teacher grapples with when corporal punishment crosses the line into child abuse and whether or not reporting her suspicions is the right decision in either case.

Gender Identity and Student Support

A student in a conservative school district appears to be experimenting with their gender identity. Can the needs of the child be balanced against prevailing community norms? Should they?

Social Media and Discipline Policy

A group of teachers and administrators grapple with how to discipline a student who posted a nasty meme on a classmates social media feed. Should sharing a violent meme be treated differently than other violent speech?

Sex Education and Parental Rights

After a student approaches her with a sexual health question, a health educator must decide whether or not to answer the student's question against the wishes of her parents.

Teaching for Social Justice

Towards the end of her Masters in Teaching, a preservice teacher grapples with whether or not to accept a job offer to teach at an urban charter school and discusses what it means to teach for social justice with a group of her colleagues.

Controversial Issues Teaching

While planning for their Power of Persuasion project, the Northern High 10th Grade social studies team debates what topics are appropriately controversial for school and what topics endanger safe and inclusive classroom spaces.

Balancing Inclusivity and Free Speech

The School Culture Committee at a K-8 school in Jersey City struggles with the impact of divisive political rhetoric on their classroom and school community.

Student Walkouts as Civil Disobedience

This case explores the dilemmas that emerge when students in Portland, Oregon walk out of school to protest the election of Donald Trump.

2016 Election

Teachers wrestle with how to teach the controversial issues and topics raised during the 2016 election.

Promotion vs. Retention

Teachers debate whether or not to promote an eighth grader who has made great strides academically in the face of numerous personal struggles, but who is also failing multiple courses and reading well below grade-level.

Disruption: A Micro-Normative Case Study

How should a teacher balance the needs of a disruptive student against the needs of the other 26 students in the class?

Pandering and Student Assignment Policy

In designing a new school assignment plan, is it ethical to pander to middle class families’ preferences so as to draw them, and their social and economic capital, into the public system?

Open Classroom Climate at McCormack

Should teachers allow a religious student to pursue a citizenship project that argues against gay marriage?

Grade Inflation

How should a school maintain professional integrity with respect to their grading policy against, while balancing commitments to student learning, student success in college admissions, and school success in the private school marketplace?

Supporting Students After-School

For months, college students who run an after-school program have struggled to manage the challenging behaviors of a child with disabilities. As volunteers with no special education credentials and little training, can and should they continue to work with this student?

Harvard Admissions Policy and Social Media

This case probes the ethical challenges that admissions officers at elite schools face in the age of social media. Should all of a young person's online history be open for scrutiny? How should admissions officers acknowledge that students are in the process of development?

Opting out of Standardized Testing

A school principal is asked to respond to growing numbers of parents opting their children out of state tests. How should she balance these parents’ concerns with other parent viewpoints supporting assessment, her own professional obligations, as well as with district and state accountability pressures?