As the U.S. population grows more ethnically diverse, many historians and educators are becoming more aware of changing demographics and are keen on ensuring that diversity is reflected in the way the nation’s history is presented in classrooms.
For many years, textbooks haven’t accurately reflected true accounts of historical figures or events, such as seen in a textbook published by McGraw-Hill Education. In covering immigration, one chapter read that “the Atlantic slave trade brought ‘millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.’”
There has also been criticism that schools limit coverage of communities of color to a chapter or lesson or time of year. For example, some say Black History Month gives short shrift to individuals whose contributions should not be forgotten.
On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, guest host Ruth Ezell of the Nine Network delved into how educators are developing more well-rounded approaches to teaching history in an inclusive way.
Joining the discussion were LaGarrett King, an associate professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia who specializes in African American history education; Laura Westhoff, associate professor of history and education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and Robert Good, adjunct professor in educator preparation and leadership at UMSL.
Listen to the full discussion:
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and the call screener is Charlie McDonald.