ERIC Number: ED393645
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Incorporating Mexican American History and Culture into the Social Studies Classroom.
Although Mexican Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, their history and literature are seldom taught in American classrooms. A study of over 3,000 high school sophomores in the Southwest revealed that neither Anglos nor Hispanics were aware of the contributions of Mexican Americans. Incorporating Mexican American history and culture into the social studies curriculum should help to minimize both the cultural myopia characteristic of many White students and the cultural alienation that frequently contributes to the school failure of Mexican American students. Historical texts and topics selected for the curriculum should reflect the complex and dynamic nature of the Mexican American experience and the long presence of Mexican Americans' ancestors on what is now U.S. land, should avoid the "heroes and victims" syndrome, and should present Mexican American history as part of U.S. history. Elementary/middle and high school history texts are recommended, as well as resources to use in finding Mexican American and multicultural literature. Literature to supplement historical topics should include historical fiction; folk tales and legends; and materials that cover contemporary culture, the changing status of women, average people, biographies of famous Mexican Americans, and resistance to bias and discrimination. In addition to quality materials and an enlightened curriculum, a school environment that values Mexican Americans is essential. Eight characteristics of the multicultural school are listed. Contains 52 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Cultural Awareness, Culturally Relevant Education, Curriculum Development, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, Hispanic American Culture, Hispanic American Students, Mexican American Education, Mexican American History, Mexican American Literature, Mexican Americans, Multicultural Education, Self Concept, Social Studies, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Chapter 16 in: Children of La Frontera: Binational Efforts To Serve Mexican Migrant and Immigrant Students; see RC 020 526.