"Civil Rights": Covering the Black Movement and More. (Curriculum Update: The Latest Developments in Math, Science, Language Arts and Social Studies)

Article excerpt

Once upon a classroom, studying civil rights meant reading about Brown v. Board of Education and Birmingham, Ala.'s sit ins. Lessons today are often expanded to include oral histories and other primary research presented through active learning techniques. But here's the big news: teachers have broadened their discussions, going beyond the African-American movement to cover American Indian, Japanese-American and now, in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, Muslim rights as well.

One indication of this expanded topic area is National History Day's 2002 Summer Institute, which included discussion on a variety of civil rights movements. Spokesman Mark Robinson says this approach reflects the ways that civil rights are taught across the country, although focus areas may vary by region. "States with larger Indian populations tend to discuss the American Indian movement, [while] in urban Eastern cities and Southern states there is much more focus on teaching the African-American civil rights movement," he says. …