When oppression and liberation are the only choices: The representation of African-Americans within state social studies standards

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Wayne Journell, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: This study seeks to understand the ways nine states represent African Americans within their standards for U.S. History. Previous research on the effects of high-stakes assessment on social studies educators suggests teachers align their instruction with information found in state standards. Therefore, an understanding of the way African Americans are represented in state standards may lead to a better understanding of how teachers portray African American history in their classrooms. The states included in the study, California, Georgia, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia, all annually assess students and teachers though end-of-course assessments. For each set of standards, all references to African Americans were coded and then categorized. Additionally, all references to individual African Americans were noted and analyzed for patterns. The results suggest that the states tend to focus on instances and individuals associated with African American oppression or liberation and largely avoid societal and cultural contributions. Therefore, it is suggested that states reframe their standards to include more explicit references to cultural accomplishments of African Americans.

Additional Information

Journal of Social Studies Research
Language: English
Date: 2008
African Americans, United States History, State Standards, African American History, Social Studies, Public Education, History Instruction, Evaluation

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