Sitting in the "Hearing Their Voices": Gay issues in the Social Studies Classroom


I know we have a diversity statement but do we have a "safe school" policy?

Really liked the use of Booker T. Washington's quote, "You put your bucket down where you are."
- build a relationship
- learn about LGBTQ issues
- what do youth want: overt symbols of acceptance, the challenging of stereotypes and gender roles, intervene on language use (not just the words but the intonation and gestures that accompany words, "the grossest of stereotypes")

- what did you mean by that?
- how do you think that makes a _ person feel?
- do you say that as a complement?
- so you're saying isn't a good thing?

Making sure not to teach "US Exceptionalism": there are countries where things are much worse for the LGBTQ community (Uganda, Iran, Jamaica) but there are areas much better (Iceland, Spain, South Africa, Ireland) shows the movements and push backs in oppressive countries

Tom Romano’s Blending Genre, Altering Style; Writing Multi-genre Writing

“We have to restore the multiple voices that populate the past”
- Sam Wineburg
Historical thinking is MULTIVOCAL.
Why is it important for students to analyze historical events from multiple perspectives?
- Learn how to corroborate information from different sources
- makes their own individual voice more relevant
- examine authors’ biases and points of view
- develop a broader, richer understanding of historical periods and events
Various Sources
- trade books
- internet
- primary sources
- documentary films
- museums and archives
- textbooks, encyclopedia
Having gotten multiple sources, now what do you do? How do you make it meaningful, creative, and authentic?
What is a multi-genre project?
- project that uses many different types of writing to narrate one topic or event
- a project containing a series of pieces written in a variety of genres that are connected by the same theme or topic and make a coherent narrative
- project that contains many points of view about one topic or event

- intro and table of contents (mandatory)
- poem
- illustration
- song
- comic
- recipe
- map
- political cartoon
- prayer
- inventory list
- poster/photograph
- blog
- journal entry
- telegram
- news article
- aim or text conversation
- to do list
- “letter”
- advertisement
- monument/memorial
- timeline
- end notes/reflection (mandatory)
o especially with historical fiction
o explain the process they went through, what they learned, why important

Why use multi-genre writing?
- Students understand and remember ideas better when they have to transform those ideas from one form to another. Apparently it is in this transforming process that author’s ideas become reader’s ideas, rendering them more memorable.
o Pearson and Fielding, 1991
- The multigenre writer uses varying styles of writing to give a new birth to the subject of his or her research.”
Ex. Research an event, person, or place significant to Westward expansion and present that story of that from a number of different perspectives and in a number of different genres.
1. select research topic
a. get primary and secondary resources
2. explore multiple perspectives and genres
a. experiment with various genres
b. continue research
c. what are the perspectives
i. person
ii. experience
3. write and rewrite content
a. write in different genres AND perspectives
b. research to fill in the “gaps”
4. receive feedback from classmates and teachers
a. revise
5. edit, polish, and share projects
Lead up to the Civil War 1820 - 1859? Actual Civil War Portfolio? End of Year Assessment?
- 4 weeks

Teaching War
- scope and sequence of our teaching is derived from textbooks, whether we use them in a classroom or not (just how we’ve been taught to teach)
o activities, time on certain subjects, etc…
o cost effective method of teaching
o don’t know where else to turn
o always a great fallback
- Problems with textbooks
o Bias
§ Political values expressed
o Inaccurate
o Bland, boring, devoid of interest
o Viewed as neutral and unbiased
o Textbook is a CHOSEN narrative, not an objective or value free one
- war as inevitable, something that “came over us”, we were “brought there”, it “happened” to us, we had no say
o passivity of war “The War Came”, “The War Starts”
§ it came to us, we had no role
o lack of ownership
Historiography (all books)
- A Short, Offhand, Killing Affair
- The Great War and Modern Memory
- *To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order (Thomas J. Knock)*
- American Violence: A Documentary History
- Battle Tactics of the Civil War
- Embattled Courage: the experience of combat in the American Civil War
- Human Smoke
- *This Republic is Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Drew Gilpin Faust)*
- Men Against Fire: The Problems of Battle Command (SLA Marshall)
o 80% of infantrymen who SAW the enemy did not fire their weapons
- On Killing: The Psychological Costs of Learning to Killing War and Society
Do We give students opportunities to:
- critically evaluate causes/effects of war?
- Evaluate the human damage done, beyond numerical evaluation
o Resources from noncombatants
Use of War Films
- inaccuracy of film is generally a given and though not necessarily a reason to exclude its use
- of greater concern is teacher’s ability to correct historical error
- Ex.
o The Patriot
§ Does show a rare part of the war, what is going on in the South
§ Movie shows the Carolinas and the fighting between patriots and loyalists
· Scene of Gibson at the SC legislature worthwhile, end scene is just bloody
o Having students cheer on battles and blood is pretty horrifying from a teaching perspective
o Glory
§ Midway battle scene, shows the confusion of civil war battles
§ Students generally very angry at the end when things don’t end “well” or “happy” with the Battle/Massacre of Fort Wagner
o Saving Private Ryan
§ Translator character
· First can’t kill the German (unarmed, would be a war crime)
· Then he does kill him right at the end, now it’s okay because he’s avenging his comrade’s death
o What does that teach?
o Schindler’s List vs. Inglourious Basterds
§ One shows Jews helplessly being killed and then saved by a righteous German (what does that teach?)
§ The other shows American Jews doing what we all “want” them to do
Do we give students an opportunity to critique US policies that may lead to war?
Do we teach was as an event, or as a series of causes and effects?
Do we teach US wars as morally good or bad? Or is morality not an appropriate issue?
Teaching About the Avoidance of War, “You Makes the Call”
- provide students with a chance to critically analyze US policy choices
- does not present was an an inevitability
- unfamiliar enough that students may not necessarily know the historical resolutions
o Olive Branch Petition (1775)
o Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)
o Oregon Question (1844-1846)
o Quasi-War (1798-1800)
§ HBO John Adam’s series!
“In our age, there can be no peace that is not honorable; there can be no war that is not dishonorable”
- Charles Sumner
Should we, as educators, present as a value of the US, the concept of “just war”?
What Should be Our Approach to War?
- “War is sometimes justifiable…the conduct of war is always subject to moral criticism.” Arguing About Wars (2004) by Michael Walzer
- “The deliberate killing of people who do not want to die can never be considered virtuous.” Critical lessons: What our schools should teach, p54 Nel Nodding (2006)
Just War Theory: a framework for teaching about war
- justice before war “jus ad bellum”
o just cause
§ self-defense
o right intention
o last resort
- justice in war “jus in bellum”
o discrimination between combatants and non-combatants
o observance of weapons prohibitions
o no means “mala in se”
- justice after war “jus post bellum”
o proportionality and publicity
o punishment (for leaders and soldiers)
o rehabilitation
§ fix the things that led to war in the first place
“It is well that war is so terrible, or else we should grow to fond of it”
- Robert E. Lee

“Let us fight for love of fighting with no thought of rights the world’s wrongs”
- US general during Civil War, missed the name
“Either war is finished or we are”
- Herman Wouk, War and Remembrances
- if we can’t explain WHY we’re teaching something, we shouldn’t be
o critical pragmatism
o civic knowledge
o ethics of morality and caring in schools
§ “Caring for” rather than “caring about”
Do we teach war as a natural, inevitable phenomenon?

Overarching Themes
- Government
o Organization
§ Generally created for the sole purpose of self aggrandizement, yet they are impacted by the times they existed in
· As times and people change, government must respond and change
§ Governments can also be shaped by unexpected violence by those who disagree with their vision
· Ex. Gracchus brothers, Abraham Lincoln, MLK
§ Democracies and republics were in the minority
- Greek democracy only lasted 170 years!!!!
o taxation
- trade (and raid)
o by agreement
§ trade and exploration of new markets had driven economies of countless successful civilizations from the Silk Road to the histories of the Mediterranean raiding and trading sorties to the Atlantic trade routes
§ Trade means wealth, wealth means power, power means more land and influence
§ As exploration expanded so did vision
· Key to the development of the Americas
o US colonies do not exist in a vacuum, they are created for TRADE
§ Fishermen off the coast of the Americas (Georges in Canada) in the 1300’s
o piracy
- slavery
o conquest of war
§ existed for millennia
§ took those “useful”
· no young or old (killed or left behind), skilled workers, laborers, those politically active killed
o trade
- war
o power struggles over lands, borders, and resources
§ instability brings revolution, reform, “escape”
- land
o expanding empires in the ancient world
§ Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, China, Japan
o “manifest destiny” in the US
§ Louisiana Purchase and what it says not just about us but about France as well
o imperialism throughout
No history develops in a vacuum. History is a living breathing experience that had immense import for those living it and those who come after.