Diversity Representation in MU*ing
It ABSOLUTELY different state by state, district by district! 4th grade is generally state-history. In Arizona I DID teach about the interment camps, but only after we'd switched to the IB PYP model and were able to integrate it into our unit about why people move. (That was my favorite unit to teach and as a team we disigned it so that we spent a week on forced movements, political, social, economic, geographic). Here in Colorado? Not so much. Weirdly in Arizona, before my school went IB, we spent as much time on the Civil War in the Arizona territory as we did on WWII. And there was... not a whole lot of the civil war that happened in Arizona guys. NOT A WHOLE LOT AT ALL.
I'm a HUGE proponent of teaching history thematically rather than in chronological order. There isn't TIME in a year to be able to cover everything and have even a fraction of it stick. So you either choose specific times and dive deep and ignore the rest, or your breeze through the timeline and don't go deep. If you do things more thematically then you can purposefully develop hooks that allow students to tie ideas together and build lasting memory. Will you hit ALL of the timeline? No, but what students DO know they'll actually KNOW.
That is an argument I am not qualified to have on the simple basis of not being American. I have no very little idea of how this subject is handled in the US. Black History Month is definitely not a thing here.
I mean, I'm not American and have only been there twice - Black History Month is a thing in Britain, though with varying success when it comes to engagement. Though I was more referring to taught syllabus at various levels of education rather than cultural events like BHM.
Awareness is increasing of the presence of POCs in Europe before, well, 1970. Their presence was never denied here, though, until fairly recently -- which is, to me, what makes it a white supremacist agenda. Fiction, art, poetry, historical accounts from just a few generations ago all treat POCs as -- well, just part of the scenery. Yes, they existed. Sometimes they were referenced in funny or strange ways, like 9th century accounts calling black people 'bluemen'. But they were definitely there, and pretending otherwise is a new, and highly questionable agenda.
As I say, I think there is a difference between active and passive denial of the role of POC in our collective history here. It is very difficult to challenge an active claim of a mythologised 'White Europe' past when there is a passive perception of our history in that way. It means challenging it comes with a heavy lifting exercise of educating and challenging preconceptions along with correcting the fact itself. But, that's probably going a bit off topic of the subject of M** diversity!
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somasatori last edited by
My youngest child came home with a pilgrims and Indians themes project in kindergarten this year school year in WA state. Which was horrifying to me on many levels.
Public school instruction in the US is extremely fractured, not only state by state but district by district and school by school. (My older kids' elementary school would have NEVER done that, and also at the time was the main site for a native american students and families group for the district, and those parents very generously shared resources with the teachers, students, and other families about PacNW history and current culture!!)
There is such a strange deviation in how we teach people on a state-by-state basis. I spent my pre-teen through high school period on Maui, wherein we did explicitly discuss American colonialism and the annexation's effects on the modern day. That said, we absolutely did not discuss anything in lengthy detail that solely affected the mainland. This made it surprisingly frank, like in US history the teacher said "The Civil War was about slavery," and that was that. When I was in early elementary school, I lived in Georgia in which the textbook used was like "here are the reasons why states' rights are important..." so you can imagine how much unlearning happened in middle & high school there.