Sunday, November 15, 2015

Teaching Race in U.S. History at the NCSS Annual Conference

For the past two years, I have presented teacher workshops on teaching race in U.S. history at the National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference in Boston and New Orleans. The main premise of the workshop is that race is often omitted from the U.S. history curriculum and, when it is included, it appears only in a handful of units (i.e. European colonization/Indian "removal," slavery/abolition, and the modern civil rights movement). Additionally, Asians and Latinos may be completely invisible in the U.S. history curriculum (and may only appear during lessons on the building of the transcontinental railroad or Mexican American War). In these workshops, I ask teachers from around the country to share the many different ways that they include race and inequity in their U.S. history classrooms, which often includes many powerful examples (many of which I had never considered before the workshop.

If you are interested in making race a central aspect to your U.S. curriculum, I encourage you to download the below materials, which I have used during these workshops. They include an engaging opener, an inquiry question, and primary source documents rooted in racial experiences of past events. I list the session title and the topics addresses.

Beyond Slavery and Civil Rights: Teaching Race in U.S. History
NCSS 2014 Boston, Massachusetts

File Link:

California Gold Rush
Zoot Suit Riots
Hurricane Katrina 

Uncovering the Omitted Past: Teaching Race-Related Events in U.S. History
NCSS 2015 New Orleans, Louisiana

File Link:

American Revolution
Japanese Internment
1980s and Reagan's Economics Policies