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Educational Life History and Teaching Metaphors


Education

Educational Life History and Teaching Metaphors


Critical Family History – a way around prohibitions on teaching

By Christine Sleeter

22 Sep, 2021

State laws taking aim at Critical Race Theory and anti-racist education are making many teachers, teacher educators, and other university faculty wary about teaching students about structural racism. Chalkbeat has tracked efforts in 28 states to restrict education on racism, bias, the contributions of specific racial or ethnic groups to U.S. history, or related topics. But it has also efforts in 15 states to expand education on racism, bias, the contributions of specific racial or ethnic groups to U.S. history, or related topics. I’m grateful to be living in one of those 15 states. But if you live in one of the states that restricts what can be taught but you are committed to teaching the truth, what do you do? Critical family history can provide a way around restrictions on content. Family history has become a popular pastime that few would regard as subversive. Yet, digging into one’s own family history often reveals structural racism at work. After all, everyone participates in racism in one form or another. The trick is not so much one of finding examples, but rather of recognizing them and using them to piece together a larger picture of how racism (and classism and sexism) work. Here are some examples, some from my work and some from the work of others. When seeking information about a great-great-grandmother, one of my sisters tried googling her name. What she found was an article published in the Sacrament Bee in 1882 (the article is no longer freely available online) about an organization our ancestor was helping to found, called The Woman’s Protective League. It was dedicated to eradicating the employment of Chinese people in San Francisco, and particularly Chinese workers in white families. The document raises so many questions! Why was this happening during the same year Congress…



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