INSIGHTS FOR EQUITY
Ethnic Studies Discussion (April 2016)
By Mary Bussman, Equity Alliance MN, Equity Consultant, Professional Learning and Program Evaluation
Equity Alliance MN is beginning discussions with several school districts about how to deepen the work of equity in our schools to include ethnic studies courses or content. It is important to acknowledge that many districts in the east metro have provided ongoing opportunities to increase our understanding of bias. Some districts have worked to change how teachers teach, including culturally relevant pedagogy in their work. The third step in transforming our schools is expanding what we teach to include the absent narratives--those stories not included in traditional classroom contexts.
Here in Minnesota, we have an incredible resource at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Keith Mayes, chair of the African and African American studies department, and colleagues have worked with Minneapolis Public Schools to develop a semester-long course in African American history currently being taught at the ninth-grade in Minneapolis. The University of MN will complete development of two more ethnic studies courses for high school this fall--, Asian American history and Chicana/o American history.
District leaders from Inver Grove Heights, Roseville, St. Paul, South St. Paul, South Washington County, and White Bear Lake school districts began the conversation about how we may offer ethnic studies courses or infuse the lessons of these courses into existing classes. Our hope is to work with the University of Minnesota to expand teacher knowledge to include history that is presently untold. If you would like to be part of this discussion, please contact Mary Bussman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The third step in transforming our schools is expanding what we teach to include the absent narratives--those stories not included in traditional classroom contexts."