Intro Unit: The Politics of Education - Enlightenment or Propaganda?

Intro Unit, Class 4: The Struggle Continues…The Ongoing Battle Against Racist Propaganda & Miseducation

Study Guide

Suggested Vocabulary
Randomly ask students the definition of one of the following words. Then ask them to put the word in a sentence. This is a great exercise for the beginning or end of a class, or if you finish a class early.

whitewash - A whitewash is something that hides a wrong or illegal action:
[ C ] He called the report a whitewash.

alienate - cause (someone) to feel isolated or estranged.

biased - unfairly prejudiced for or against someone or something.

resentment -  bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.
"his resentment at being demoted"

capitulate - cease to resist an opponent or an unwelcome demand; surrender.
"the patriots had to capitulate to the enemy forces"

telegraph - send (someone) a message by telegraph.

distort - give a misleading or false account or impression of.
"many factors can distort the results"

chronicle - a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence.

Study Questions

From “Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change”

1. Why did conservatives want to change the social studies curriculum?

From “Arizona’s Ethnic Studies Ban Whitewashes History”
2. Why did conservative Republicans in Arizona support the ban on ethnic studies?

“Lots of Confusion Over Teacher Firings at Howard University Middle

3. According to the social studies teachers at Howard University Middle School, why were they fired from their teaching positions?

From "Be wary of Texas’ lessons on social studies" 

4. What are some of the historical facts the new Texas social studies textbooks barely address? Why is this problematic?

From "Arizona's ethnic studies ban whitewashes history" 

5. What does Arizona’s new law prohibit? Why is this law problematic?

From Arizona school says hip-hop class featuring KRS-One violates ban on ethnic studies

6. Why was rapper KRS-One banned from being taught in Arizona?

7. Do you feel hip-hop music like KRS One’s “You Must Learn” should
be taught in school? Why or why not?

From Students and Teachers Battle Conservatives Over AP History Curriculum

8. Why did conservatives propose banning the AP History curriculum in Colorado? What did Republican candidate for president, Ben Carson say about the AP History curriculum?

9. Do you feel that teaching about the negative aspects of American history is “unpatriotic?” Why or why not?

From “Teacher Who Assigned Math Homework with Slavery Questions Resigns”

10. Why were parents angered by the math homework questions about slavery?

11. Do you think these questions were deliberately written to degrade black people? Or do you think it was simply “poor judgment?” Explain your answer.

12. Do you think these questions were ok to ask? Why or why not?

From "Children Barred From Writing About Malcolm X in NYC School"

13. Do you think historical figures such as Malcolm X should be
banned from study in public schools? Why or why not?

14. Who do you think should have the responsibility for developing public school curricula? Why?

15. How do you feel about your school’s curriculum? Is it inclusive of
all people or do you feel it is biased towards a certain group or ideology?
Grading Scale
15 questions. Each question is worth
7 points

1 incorrect, grade 93 - A

2 incorrect, grade 86 - B

3 incorrect, grade 79 - D​

4 incorrent, grade 72

5 incorrect, grade 65

6 incorrect, grade :(