Individual Presentation or Panel Title

Teaching for Social Justice: Raising Critical Consciousness and Engaging in Dangerous Dialogues in Advanced Placement United States History Courses

Abstract

The Advanced Placement (AP) United States History curriculum has been redesigned and revised several times over the past few years. Some conservative critics have complained that the curriculum has become too liberal and is unpatriotic because it focuses on the topics such as slavery, racism, and sexism in United States history. As a high school educator that is committed to raising critical consciousness and promoting social justice education in the classroom, I have used the revised curriculum as a way to engage students in dangerous dialogues that decenter and reconceptualize events in our history. Villaverde (2008) argues that dangerous dialogues can be used to raise consciousness and expose “historical events marginalized to maintain social control and complicity with dominant discourse” (p. 125). This paper will focus on the importance of social justice education and feminist pedagogy in teaching American history to high school students. Hackman (2005) argues that “social justice education encourages students to take an active role in their own education and supports teachers in creating empowering, democratic and critical educational environments” (p. 103). My paper discusses the ways that curriculum and pedagogical techniques can be used to foster critical consciousness among students in American history courses. Student resistance and how that resistance can be used to dig deeper into important social issues will be covered in the context of several specific examples.

Presentation Description

This presentation discusses the ways that social justice education and feminist pedagogy can be used to engage American history students in dangerous dialogues that foster critical consciousness and promote civic literacy.

Keywords

social justice education, feminist pedagogy, curriculum, democratic teaching, student resistance, critical consciousness, public school teaching, history, critical pedagogy, dialogue

Location

Forsyth

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Jun 9th, 2:15 PM Jun 9th, 3:30 PM

Teaching for Social Justice: Raising Critical Consciousness and Engaging in Dangerous Dialogues in Advanced Placement United States History Courses

Forsyth

The Advanced Placement (AP) United States History curriculum has been redesigned and revised several times over the past few years. Some conservative critics have complained that the curriculum has become too liberal and is unpatriotic because it focuses on the topics such as slavery, racism, and sexism in United States history. As a high school educator that is committed to raising critical consciousness and promoting social justice education in the classroom, I have used the revised curriculum as a way to engage students in dangerous dialogues that decenter and reconceptualize events in our history. Villaverde (2008) argues that dangerous dialogues can be used to raise consciousness and expose “historical events marginalized to maintain social control and complicity with dominant discourse” (p. 125). This paper will focus on the importance of social justice education and feminist pedagogy in teaching American history to high school students. Hackman (2005) argues that “social justice education encourages students to take an active role in their own education and supports teachers in creating empowering, democratic and critical educational environments” (p. 103). My paper discusses the ways that curriculum and pedagogical techniques can be used to foster critical consciousness among students in American history courses. Student resistance and how that resistance can be used to dig deeper into important social issues will be covered in the context of several specific examples.