Note: What Happens When American Children Learn About Racism?By Neil Lewis Jr.
In “Schoolbook Nation,” a book examining the history of conflict over the American curriculum, historian Joseph Moreau noted that various Americans worried that the sky would fall if the “wrong” version of history was taught in schools.
Note: You need to look at what constitutes 'wrong'.
One side argues that we should add more critical classes about American history to the curriculum, assuming that teaching more critical history would be beneficial to our children. The other side assumes that such classes will be harmful and therefore argues that important content should be banned from classrooms.
Note: Should we teach our children reality as it is? Or should we cover it up for a while and show a rosy side of the future?
In a field experiment conducted in high schools across the Chicago metropolitan area, University of Chicago political scientist Matthew Nelsen randomly assigned about 700 high school students to read different versions of a history textbook and then looked at what effect that had on students of different races. We measured the effect. Among other things, Nelsen found that compared to students who read traditional history textbooks, students of all racial backgrounds benefited from reading more critical textbooks. For example, Latino and Black youth reported a greater willingness to engage in acts of political engagement and a greater willingness to express their views on a variety of issues. In another study, Nelsen found that white students expressed greater appreciation for the contributions of blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans to American society. They point to research showing that when white children learn about racism, they are more likely to value racial fairness and show more positive attitudes and empathy toward black people. In fact, there is currently an active push to limit how race and racism are taught in schools. Between January 2021 and April 2022, approximately 200 bills were filed across the United States to ban the teaching of critical perspectives on American history.
Note: The above study is evidence that historical awareness of actual racial discrimination should be actively taught as part of the educational curriculum.
Fear of what this type of teaching might mean is one of the reasons why many white Americans, especially white Republicans, are concerned about the impact of teaching children about racism and are actively trying to ban such classes from schools. no see. For one's own power in society. Teaching about racism may strengthen racial unity and expand the rights and opportunities for racial minorities to participate in key decision-making systems, but some Americans interpret these ideas as an existential threat.
Note: A social perception can have political power. This is one of the reasons why white people refuse to mention racial discrimination and publicize this reality due to concerns about reverse discrimination. Because it is interpreted as an existential threat.
The article above explains why content about racial discrimination should be taught through more realistic narratives in actual educational settings.
* This post is a note after reading an article," What Happens When American Children Learn About Racism?By Neil Lewis Jr.
Myungja Anna Koh