Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sacramento News & Review - Dale Allender, co-editor of the high school ethnic studies textbook Our Stories in Our Voices

Sacramento News & Review - Dale Allender, co-editor of the high school ethnic studies textbook Our Stories in Our Voices - 15 Minutes - Opinions - July 20, 2017:

Dale Allender, co-editor of the high school ethnic studies textbook Our Stories in Our Voices

The Sacramento State University assistant professor discusses the important of letting diverse groups speak for themselves



Dale Allender’s home was built by a Japanese internment survivor. It hosted the Black Lives Matter Sacramento Freedom School reception. It’s also where Sacramento State professors, high school teachers, legislative aides and activists crafted the state’s—likely the country’s—first high school ethnic studies textbook. That process began after a Sacramento City Unified School District survey found students were concerned about interethnic student violence and an education that lacked cultural relevance. Allender, a Sac State assistant professor, co-edited the textbook with the university’s Asian American studies program director, Gregory E. Mark. Our Stories in Our Voices weaves together rich local histories from perspectives of people of color. In the wake of police shootings, a divisive election and ongoing racist violence, Allender hopes more schools join in: “If it can happen here, maybe it can happen elsewhere,” he said.

When did you first learn about ethnic studies?

In elementary school. A nonprofit gave me a child’s dictionary of mythology. I went to 12 different schools and would always go into the libraries and look for more mythology. I began to see Greek mythology, and if I was lucky, Native American, but I kept wondering where mine were. I didn’t find it until I took black lit classes in college.

Why is ethnic studies important?

The brain works by going from the familiar to the unfamiliar. … Hearing stories of what people have done—for survival, for thriving, for cultural sustenance—it should inspire folks to understand that they don’t have to live in a colonial structure, whatever their background. They can form coalitions. … Let’s give folks the narratives, information and activities to deconstruct and reconstruct their world. That’s really what we’re doing.

Does ethnic studies change with privilege?

We’re talking about empathy. There’s a biological basis for that. Another neuroscience principle is Neural Darwinism. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Unless you really work with those neurons and that mindset, you have limited capacity. One goal of ethnic studies is a sense of indigeneity. That everyone has a sense that, “I come from somewhere.” You should also have a sense of understanding hegemony: That what we experience isn’t the natural order of things; it’s human-constructed with power and purpose toward an Sacramento News & Review - Dale Allender, co-editor of the high school ethnic studies textbook Our Stories in Our Voices - 15 Minutes - Opinions - July 20, 2017:

 Image result for ethnic studies

Latest News and Comment from Education

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers