PurposeHow can the author, as social studies methods instructors, assist future elementary teachers develop the knowledge and skills to engage young students in critical examinations of race and racism, and feel empowered to take action against racial oppression? The purpose of this paper is to share one of many possible ways of “doing race” in elementary social studies teacher education.Design/methodology/approachFirst, the author proposes the topic of school segregation as a relevant and engaging inroad for elementary students to learn about race and racism. Then, the author outlines and problematizes a dominant approach to teaching about school segregation in elementary classrooms and suggests an alternative approach informed by critical race theories. Next, the author provides counterstories to dispel the dominant narrative of school segregation from an Asian critical race theory perspective. This is followed by an explanation of the lesson the author teaches in the author’s elementary social studies methods course that utilizes these perspectives and counterstories.FindingsBy using Asian-American counterstories of school segregation, the lesson seeks to assist preservice elementary teachers in disrupting the dominant teaching practices and discourses around school segregation and helps preservice teachers develop the critical understandings and competencies needed to successfully teach about race and racism in elementary classrooms.Originality/valueThe author concludes by discussing the possibilities and implications of the lesson.
Social Studies Research and Practice – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 11, 2017
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