“A Class Apart"? Latinos in the Secondary Social Studies Curriculum

Saturday, January 5, 2013
La Galerie 3 (New Orleans Marriott)
Gigi A. Peterson, State University of New York at Cortland
How are Latinos – the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the United States – included in social studies curricular guides and textbooks at the secondary level?  How can their diversity and histories be re-framed as a vital part of the US past and its transnational dimensions?  Secondary-level teachers face politicized, commercialized, and shifting state education expectations.  College history instructors work with students whose perceptions are shaped by these systems, which often promote interpretations of the US past that are at odds with current scholarship.  How can both of these groups incorporate Latino history into their teaching so as to promote critical rethinking of interpretations, and understanding of current issues?

This poster will focus on these important questions.  It will analyze the secondary social studies curriculum for several states, including common erasures and misrepresentations that distort not only diverse Latino experiences but understanding of the US and its evolving place in the world.  The presenter will provides suggestions and resources for teaching Latino experiences as central to major themes in US history.  Discussion of the politics of social studies curricula – and how teachers at all levels may collaborate to address crucial issues – will also be welcomed.

See more of: Poster Session, Part 2
See more of: AHA Sessions