University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Frenkiewich & Dr. Kurk Dorsey, Department of History
Competing Visions of Race in American History
The teaching of race and racism in American social studies curriculum is a hot issue, right now at a crossroads, being scrutinized from every possible angle. Critical Race Theory, The 1619 Project, and The 1776 Project brought to the forefront arguments and controversy about how to appropriately be educated on these topics. In the United States, each state has its standards accompanied with acceptable textbooks to teach its students. This study will survey those instructional materials in secondary education. The central question in this research is how different states address race and racism in this course of study. By examining textbook chapters detailing the Civil War and the state standards, this project will show the differences in how five selected states from distinct regions of the country teach race and racism. For instance, coverage of the Supreme Court case Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857 shows some emphasize the importance of this landmark decision while others downplay it. The author will come to conclusions about why these differences may exist. The results of this project are significant since what students are taught will make them who they are as adults, and it is vital they become good citizens.