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ERIC Number: EJ877736
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1849
Teaching for Tolerance and Understanding during the Japanese Internment: Lessons for Educators Today
Banks, Cherry A. McGee
Educational Perspectives, v40 n1 p3-6 2007
Following the Japanese attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the nation was thrown into a state of fear and hysteria. On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 9066 which resulted in more than 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry being either interned in relocation centers, drafted, or imprisoned. In communities throughout the Western part of the United States, lessons about democracy, tolerance, and brotherhood were mediated by the reality of the Japanese internment. The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II at the same time that students were being taught about democracy, intolerance, and brotherhood is an example of the mixed messages that were given to students and teachers. The issues and groups have changed since World War II, but educators today continue to face the challenge of helping students understand and develop the skills, knowledge, and habits of heart to be effective citizens in pluralistic democratic society. Balancing unity and diversity is a critical component of that challenge. In this article, the author stresses the important role of schools in helping to resolve the tension between unity and diversity. She argues that giving students the opportunity to grapple with real questions and issues that give prominence to the tension between diversity and unity can help them understand that there are no easy answers and that while they may not find immediate solutions they can help create an environment where the issues can continue to be explored and ultimately resolved. By learning from history, recognizing the ways in which elements of history continue to be present in contemporary society, and taking action to right an old wrong, they gave individuals a glimpse of how schools can educate students who understand the unity-diversity tension and act accordingly.(Contains 1 endnote.)
College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Wist Annex 2 Room 131, 1776 University Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96822. Tel: 808-956-8002; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii; United States; Washington