Ethnic Studies or Re-thinking American History? (January 2017)
During this school year, thirty-eight teachers from across six school districts are attending sixteen sessions to learn a deeper understanding of American history. The class, African American History for Educators, taught by University of MN associate professor Dr. Keith Mayes, meets twice monthly to learn the broader context of American history through an African American lens. Educators will be able to offer this course to their own students as a semester-long ethnic studies course, or to use the expanded understanding of history in their current lessons. It has become very clear to me, that I know the history that was taught to me thirty and forty years ago, in my small, white, Minnesota town. It didn't seem necessary to have multiple perspectives then because we were mostly a white community without the global connections we have now. However, today all our children need to understand history through broader lenses because all of our cultural groups have contributed to making our country great. When we only tell a portion of the story, we perpetuate the myth of white superiority. Now, the question is, "Where to we go from here?" Join me and district leaders Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 9:00 - 10:30 in the Equity Alliance MN offices to determine what our next steps should be. Shall we offer this course again? Shall we expand into another cultural historical course? Or, something else?