The following narrative focuses upon our nation’s number one problem, racism, which has economic, political, social and philosophical implications.
My project, Promoting Diversity in Elementary School Curriculum, has a focus on social studies but, with an interdisciplinary approach, involving other areas of the curriculum. Although I designed this program specifically for my third grade classroom, other teachers can modify it by elaborating on and/or deleting information and activities to make it more flexible and age-appropriate for other grade levels.
It is my plan to spend approximately 2 to 3 months on a fairly in depth study of the following ethnic groups: Native-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.
The classic textbook approach to learning about our country and its evolution has been to read and study the typical White books and lessons and history—with maybe a few days before Thanksgiving to learn about the “Indians” and maybe in some schools, a week in January or February to learn about “Black History.” Since the true story of our country and its evolution began many hundreds of years ago though, and since the white Anglo-Saxon majority has oppressed People Of Color for many hundreds of years, our way of teaching must change. The history of our ethnic groups took hundreds of years to evolve and we cannot hope to teach it in a few short weeks.
For these reasons, I see this project, the study of Diversity, as a year-long endeavor rather than as a separate and distinct month-long unit.