Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Update on school history plan

As discussed here previously, the Philadelphia school system has taken a bold and controversial step in deciding to require that its students take a class on African and African-American history. However, a Daily News piece from yesterday mentions a few details that I didn't hear anywhere else, including this:
The 2005-2006 school year will be the first time the district will have a standardized curriculum in social studies. From kindergarten through 12th grade, there will be lessons, or modules, about ethnic communities that are part of Philadelphia - Asian, Latino, Jewish, to name a few.

Our kids will know more about their neighbors, schoolmates and the world. They will understand better than their parents, for example, reasons for the starvation and civil unrest in Africa, or why some Mexicans will risk death to come here.
That seems like it goes a long way toward answering many of the objections that were raised to the highschool course, and helps put it into a context that could lead to useful discussions and even a sense of shared adventure. I'm certainly willing to wait and see how things develop.

(via The Rittenhouse Review)


Blogger Victor Laszlo said...

This is great because it should defuse those objections, but you never know. Has anyone made the point yet that it's just as important if not more so for Whites to understand African and African American history? I grew up white in a mostly white place; moving to places with diverse populations like Phila was a huge learning experience in itself. I wish I was better informed my high school history courses.

4:42 PM  

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