In the News

How teachers are bringing lessons from the racial justice uprisings into the classroom

Published on September 18, 2020 in

For centuries, dead white men have dominated high school English classes. Syllabuses and summer readings lists are chock-full of Shakespeares, Hemingways, Faulkners, and Fitzgeralds.

But this year, Joana Chacon, an English teacher at Newton South High School, is trying something new: Like many in her department, Chacon is teaching texts only by authors of color. Freshmen will read “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros and civil rights poetry by Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Maya Angelou. Juniors will dive into Sherman Alexie’s bildungsroman, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian,” Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel “American Born Chinese," and one of Toni Morrison’s searing early works, “The Bluest Eye” or “Song of Solomon.”

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History Educators Respond to Trump: It Matters How We Tell the National Story

Published on September 18, 2020 in
Social studies and history education organizations, and many teachers, criticized the president's statements yesterday after he condemned history classes that include lessons on systemic racism for teaching what he called "lies" and "left-wing indoctrination."... The Zinn Education Project, which offers lessons and professional development based on Zinn's approach to history, also issued a statement saying that the Trump administration "seek[s] to squash ... the power of a growing number of teachers who teach outside the textbook."
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Democracy Now! New Program | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Trump Calls Howard Zinn’s Work “Propaganda.” Hear the Legendary Historian in His Own Words.

Published on September 18, 2020 in
This week President Trump described the work of the legendary historian Howard Zinn, who died in 2010, as “propaganda” meant to “make students ashamed of their own history.” But Zinn believed the opposite, that teaching the unvarnished truth about history was the best way to combat propaganda and unexamined received wisdom. We air excerpts from a 2009 interview with Zinn in which he explained his approach to education. “We should be honest with young people; we should not deceive them. We should be honest about the history of our country,” Zinn said.
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How Are Educators Rethinking U.S. History Education?

Published on July 2, 2020 in
As the uprisings for racial justice continue through the summer, they are shedding light on just how much our classrooms whitewash U.S. history and leave out important narratives of Black and Indigenous people, and other histories of people of color. Over the last few weeks, some people, particularly white people, are now realizing they weren’t taught certain aspects of U.S. history, such as the Tulsa race massacre, or how redlining segregated many U.S. cities, and this has prompted many to rethink about how we teach history in this country and how to fix it.
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How Are Educators Using This Moment To Teach The True History Of The US?

Published on July 1, 2020 in
On this edition of Your Call, we’ll speak with educators about how they teach subjects not taught or taught inaccurately today’s US history books. With Black Lives Matter actions happening across the country and the removal of statues depicting racist history, how do teachers plan to use this moment to educate students about the true history of this country?
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Resources to teach the history of policing in America that you won’t find in textbooks

Published on June 9, 2020 in
With police reform front and center in the national debate, it’s a good time to learn about the history of policing in the United States. Here are resources on the subject from the nonprofit Zinn Education Project, which offers free downloadable lessons and articles on history organized by theme, time period and grade level. The lessons are based on the approach to history highlighted in Howard Zinn’s best-selling book, “A People’s History of the United States,” emphasizing the role of working people, women, people of color and organized social movements in shaping history.
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