I was over on Talking Dog this afternoon and reading about how California teachers are having to come up with curriculum fast for a new law that requires them to teach LGBT history in schools. I don’t think teachers have to overhaul everything—but I do think a quick version might be able to make things better for January.
So I devised Hidden Histories.
Hidden Histories is based on the premise that lots of histories have been hidden over time—and that gay history, while the most completely submerged, is just one of many. The curriculum asks that you start off the new year with a framework, but that you don’t have to change any of your curriculum. The framework, and subsequently turning your students into little detectives, will bridge the interim for you.
The hardest thing facing California teachers, in regards to this law, is that most people, including myself, have never heard gay history. So requiring teachers to teach it will be difficult unless you teach them gay history first—and provide them some ideas, lesson plans, curriculum. And giving them only till January to comply is hard… I think you should rather that the schools devise a Teacher training day in the spring, to come up with curriculum.
Anyway, over there at the other blog, I gave my ideas–and hopefully people will feel free to use them.
Best reason for this teaching LGBT stuff in classrooms:
“Within the typical secondary school curriculum, homosexuals do not exist. They are ‘nonpersons’ in the finest Stalinist sense. They have fought no battles, held no offices, explored nowhere, written no literature, built nothing, invented nothing and solved no equations. The lesson to the heterosexual student is abundantly clear: homosexuals do nothing of consequence. To the homosexual student, the message has even greater power: no one who has ever felt as you do has done anything worth mentioning.” -Gerald Unks, editor, The Gay Teen, p. 5.