Helping the School Value your Child’s Culture

Checking-in with the teacher during open house. Potential Questions to Ask:

  • What topics will you teach this year?
  • What books will you be using?
  • Will you incorporate American Indian/African American/Latinx/Asian/Middle Eastern content into your course?
  • What kinds of content will you cover during the varous heritage/history months?

Reviewing your children’s textbooks/homework assignments

Examples of problematic textbooks lessons:

  • The first picture text: “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.” Other textbooks refer to some slaveowners as “kind and generous” and notes that not all slaves were ‘unhappy’.
  • Second picture text: “When European settlers arrived, they needed land to live on. The First Nations people agreed to move to different areas to make room for the new settelments.”

Offering resources to teachers

  • Most teachers are well-meaning, but unfortunately teacher preparation programs do not fully prepare teachers on teaching diverse populatins and certainly not on teaching the full truth of American history.
  • If your child has a teacher who is willing to learn and adapt as most teachers are, offer local resources, books, and even your personal time if you are available.

Things to assess for:

  • Is your child’s culture represented in the curriculum
  • Are they reading books from authors who belong to our cultural/racial group?
  • Surface-level diversity lessons: taco night, Thanksgiving lessons – paper headdresses

Remember – schools will never be perfect; you will have to fill in the gap sometimes and teach your child some of the content that schools don’t feel is important enough to cover.

Contact: Brittany Hunt – if you have any questions