To increase diversity in the social studies curriculum, the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) recommends these strategies:
Conduct field studies. Field trips to a historic site, civic building or museum create more engaging experiences. Additionally, tap into digital resources provided by cultural institutions.
Invite guest speakers. Students are eager to see “real people in action” and understand how current roles in local society relate to the past, says Lawrence Paska, executive director of NCSS.
LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: K12 curriculum roundup: More than words
Take ‘informed action.’ Connect classroom learning to a contemporary, real-world problem, and let students create solutions. “There are so many current issues that are happening right now that relate back to historical challenges that we’ve been grappling with for centuries,” Paska says.
Embrace controversy. “Anytime we talk about a marginalized group or those whose voice really hasn’t been heard, we also bring up controversy and topics that may be sensitive in certain communities” Paska adds. Give young people a chance to discuss issues that are important to them without favoring a perspective.
Emily Ann Brown is associate editor.