ERIC Number: EJ706068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 33
Using Poetry in Social Studies Classes to Teach about Cultural Diversity and Social Justice
McCall, Ava L.
Social Studies, v95 n4 p172 Jul-Aug 2004
As a teacher educator committed to raising issues of racial, economic, and gender equality and those related to an appreciation for diversity, the author finds poetry to be a powerful resource in social studies methods classes. When preparing preservice teachers for elementary and middle school levels, she finds that poetry can often capture their attention and address controversial issues in a meaningful, less-threatening manner. Poets frequently share their personal experiences with cultural diversity, racism, sexism, or classism in short, potent phrases. Poems often affirm women and cultural groups that are less valued in our society, praise individuals who resisted oppression, or portray the harm resulting from prejudicial comments or discriminatory actions. After a decade of using poetry appropriate for children and youth as a social studies resource, the author continues to be impressed with how much teacher-education students are moved by poetry when they seem untouched by more objective resources. She hopes, of course, that those students will consider the power of poetry when they address multicultural social studies themes in their own classrooms. This article describes how poetry can be a valuable resource in the social studies curriculum.
Descriptors: Gender Discrimination, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Gender Bias, Cultural Pluralism, Poetry, Methods Courses, Preservice Teacher Education, Social Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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