ERIC Number: EJ863909
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Mounting a Curricular Revolution: An Interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
von Zastrow, Claus
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v75 n3 p17-19 Nov 2009
This article presents an interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard professor and cultural critic who has captured 25 million viewers with his PBS documentary series, African American Lives (WNET). Using genealogical research and DNA science, Gates traces the family history of 19 famous African Americans. What results is a rich and moving account of the African American experience. In the interview, Gates talks about the documentary and an idea it inspired: Use genealogy and DNA research to revolutionize the way educators teach history and science to African-American students. Gates is working with other educators to create an "ancestry-based curriculum" in K-12 schools. Many African-American students know little about their ancestors. Given the chance to examine their own DNA and family histories, Gates argues, they are likely to become more engaged in history and science classes. As they rescue their forebears from anonymity imposed by slavery, students begin to understand their own place in the American story.
Descriptors: African Americans, Elementary Secondary Education, Genetics, Slavery, Genealogy, Interviews, African American Students, History Instruction, Science Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A