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Back to School – JSTOR Daily

Students (and teachers) are returning to school. Whether you’re in front of the classroom or behind a desk, JSTOR Daily has you covered. We pulled together our favorite JSTOR Daily stories to examine effective study habits, why students need not fear the library, and how American public schooling began in the first place. All JSTOR Daily articles, including Syllabi, Reading Lists, and our Pedagogies series, have free links to the supporting academic research. Browse many more JSTOR Daily stories on education, teaching, and learning here.

Pedagogies and Teaching


Musical Myth-Busting: Teaching Music History with JSTOR Daily

August 22, 2022

Harnessing the power of quirk to engage students and inspire research in an online learning environment.


Teaching U.S. History with JSTOR Daily

January 5, 2021

A survey course may be the only college-level history course a student takes. Here’s an easy way to incorporate fascinating scholarship.


Is It Time to Reexamine Grading?

September 2, 2020

There’s compelling evidence for stronger student work and more meaningful instruction when grades in K-12 education are eliminated or made unrecognizable.


How Homeschooling Evolved from Subversive to Mainstream

September 8, 2021

The pandemic helped establish homeschooling as a fixture among educational options in the US. But it’s been around—and gaining in popularity—for a while.


Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed at Fifty

September 30, 2020

The Brazilian educator Paulo Freire’s book, first published in English 50 years ago, urges viewing students as interlocutors or partners in the learning process.


The Troubles with Tracking

December 11, 2021

Educators have been debating academic tracking since the early years of the public high school.


Does Virtual Learning Work for Every Student?

October 17, 2020

Given Covid-19, schools have limited options for teaching kids. What’s working and not working in the era of online learning?


ADHD: The History of a Diagnosis

July 20, 2021

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has been a controversial diagnosis since it was first described, back in the 1940s.


Music Education and the Birth of Motown

November 7, 2020

Music teachers in the Detroit public schools paved the way for the success of future Motown artists like Smokey Robinson and Mary Wilson of the Supremes.


How Not to Teach Grammar

May 18, 2020

When people with opinions and a platform rant about bad grammar, they’re not helping, write two English professors.


Why Would Parents Oppose Compulsory Education?

November 15, 2020

In Victorian England, reformers thought all children should go to school. That didn’t sit well with everyone—and not just kids.


Three Centuries of Distance Learning

April 13, 2020

We will probably remember 2020 as the time when distance education exploded. But the infrastructure that enabled this expansion was years in the making.


The Surprising History of Homework Reform

May 29, 2020

Really, kids, there was a time when lots of grownups thought homework was bad for you.


How to Teach with JSTOR Text Analyzer

April 25, 2019

JSTOR Text Analyzer provides students with an additional resource for finding scholarly material.


6 Digital Work Habits Every Student (and Adult) Needs

August 23, 2016

These digital study habits are relatively simple and sustainable, and work for students and parents alike.

Around Campus


When Men Join Cheer

July 7, 2022

What happens when former football players, accustomed to practicing and playing in all-male environments, join gender-integrated cheerleading squads?


When Harvard Students Couldn’t Get Warm

February 11, 2022

The early heating systems of New England kept Harvard students cold until the early twentieth century.


Little Red Riding Hood On Campus: Women & Public Space

September 20, 2021

According to one criminologist, “constructing public space as dangerous to women … reinforces traditional gender norms which emphasize women as vulnerable.”


The Campus Underground Press

January 6, 2021

The 1960s and 70s were a time of activism in the U.S., and therefore a fertile time for campus newspapers and the alternative press.

Literacy, Libraries and (Banned) Books


When a Battle to Ban Textbooks Became Violent

September 27, 2021

In 1974, the culture wars came to Kanawha County, West Virginia, inciting protests over school curriculum.


Banning The Grapes of Wrath in 1939 California

March 27, 2022

The Kern County, CA Board of Supervisors got a lesson in the Streisand Effect back in 1939, when they banned The Grapes of Wrath from their libraries and schools.


Women in Science Textbooks

December 19, 2021

A team of scholars examined the seven most popular ecology textbooks. Guess what they didn’t find?


The Hidden History of Biology Textbooks 

September 9, 2021

American biology textbooks supposedly became less scientific after the Scopes trial. One scholar argues that this isn’t the whole story.


How Black Americans Fought for Literacy

September 5, 2021

From the moment US Army troops arrived in the South, newly freed people sought ways to gain education—particularly to learn to read and write.


Who Decides Which Books Are “Great?”

October 11, 2019

The concept of “Great Books,” the historian Tim Lacy explains, developed in the late nineteenth century as an attempt to foster a “democratic culture.”


Is Fan Fiction a Helpful Literacy Tool?

December 17, 2018

Some teachers are adapting to the internet age by trying to understand the “new literacies” of today’s students.


When Melvil Dewey Pursued Andrew Carnegie’s Millions

November 5, 2021

A clash of library enthusiasts ended with a sexual harassment scandal.


Libraries and Pandemics: Past and Present

April 14, 2021

The 1918 influenza pandemic had a profound impact on how librarians do their work, transforming libraries into centers of community care.


Do You Suffer from Library Anxiety?

April 13, 2016

What is library anxiety? Librarians and experts discuss how technology is changing students’ attitudes toward libraries and librarians.

Racism and Social Justice


Inside the First Indigenous Sorority

August 16, 2022

Alpha Pi Omega, the first historically Native American sorority, supports Native students and creates cultural space for them on university campuses.


Life in Indigenous Boarding Schools

July 30, 2021

Survivors of schools in the US spoke with scholars about their experiences of cruelty, neglect, and cultural degradation.


How a Southern College Tried to Resist Segregation

August 20, 2021

The founder of Kentucky’s Berea College was an abolitionist. While he was alive, the school offered a free education for both Black and white students.


Why Some Black Parents Choose Homeschooling

August 5, 2021

Homeschooling has proved to be a valued alternative to the institutional racism often found in the classroom. But it offers something more, too.


How Black Communities Built Their Own Schools

August 4, 2020

Rosenwald schools, named for a philanthropist, were funded mostly by Black people of the segregated South.


The Last Class, 28 Years Later

June 15, 2022

What happened to the last of the Pell Grant-funded prison higher ed graduates and their paralegal skills? Open Campus’s Charlotte West and Angolite associate editor John Corley report.


The Case for Race-Conscious Affirmative Action

April 3, 2019

Minority students in racially isolated schools have drastically less access to critical educational resources.


What Makes a Fair College Admissions Process?

March 27, 2019

In the wake of the college admissions scandal, scholars go back to the drawing board to answer this most central question.


A Progressive College’s Complicated Relationship with Race

September 14, 2018

Oberlin College was founded by religious idealists committed to abolitionism and integration. Then public attitudes began to shift.

Reading Lists and Syllabi


Teaching Comics: A Syllabus

August 11, 2022

So you want to teach The Sandman? Or William Blake? Or Art Spiegelman’s Maus? A guide to using comics and graphic novels in the classroom.


Security Studies: A Syllabus

July 14, 2022

National security, borders and migration, climate change and global food supplies, war and terrorism. These make up the academic field of security studies.


The History of Reproductive Rights: A Syllabus

May 3, 2022

A selection of stories on the history of reproductive rights and abortion to foster dialogue inside and outside of the classroom.


Climate Change: A Syllabus

November 9, 2021

A selection of stories to foster dialogue among students both inside and outside of the classroom.


Security Studies: Foundations and Key Concepts

July 14, 2022

Security studies originated in the era of Cold War geopolitics and decolonization. This annotated bibliography introduces readers to scholarship in the field.


From Imperialism to Postcolonialism: Key Concepts

August 8, 2022

An introduction to the histories of imperialism and the writings of those who grappled with its oppressions and legacies in the twentieth century.


Ukraine, Russia, and the West: A Background Reading List

March 3, 2022

Research reports and scholarly articles on the history of the Ukraine-Russia conflicts of the past, and possible paths for peace.


Guns in America: Foundations and Key Concepts

July 23, 2021

This non-exhaustive list of readings on the role of guns in US history and society introduces the field as a subject of scholarly inquiry.


Mass Incarceration: A Syllabus

March 17, 2022

This selection of stories focuses on prison and mass incarceration in the US, which has the highest rate of imprisonment in the world.


Affirmative Action: Foundations and Key Concepts

March 28, 2019

This non-exhaustive reading list discusses the origins of affirmative action, the question of race vs. class, and the effects of meritocracy.

And More


Skipping School for Harvest Camp

May 20, 2022

As more young adults joined the military or worked in wartime industries, England turned to children to fill the growing gap in agricultural labor.


The Back-to-School Shopping Tradition in History

August 10, 2021

As more women went to college, department stores catered to them by setting up pop-up “college shops” every September.


Silence in the Face of Intellectual Conflagration

December 10, 2021

Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler’s actions (and inaction) towards Nazi Germany spoke loudly, while he said nothing.


Annie M. Alexander: Paleontologist and Silent Benefactor

February 7, 2021

An unsung patron of science whose deep pockets and passion for exploring led to the founding of two influential natural history museums.


When Home Ec Classes Borrowed Babies

January 5, 2019

In the early-to-mid 20th century, foster children in Canada and elsewhere were placed in practice homes and cared for by home economics students.


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