Us and Them

Although our classrooms in North America are continuing to grow in diversity, aspects of the lived lives of our students are undermining to their identities, equity, inclusion and sense of justice. In 2018 in the United States it has become more reasonable to attack otherness be it gender, class, religion, color, language and even the choice of when and when not to kneel. Identity, class, and cultural developments all impact the way we see and experience the people around us and probably the way we have learned and teach history. There is a tendency in sections of society not to see “White” as a color and to think that the beliefs and attitudes they hold are neutral (Arthur & Phillips, 2000). The majority of teachers in the United States are white, female and middle-class, the students that they teach are often not. This can lead to numerous challenges and opportunities (Curran, 2004). To teach history well we need to apply understandings of how identities, ethnicity, languages and cultures combine to influence the relationships of teacher-student communication and how these impact teaching and learning. This article explores strategies used by the author to engage students in critical conversations about identity and controversial history topics and how she has been able to tap into funds of knowledge that diverse students bring with them into the classroom. It amplifies the need to think critically about identity issues and how they impact teaching and learning in the history classroom (Gay, 2000).

Identities, Inclusion, Social

Learner Diversity and Identities

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Kay Traille
    • Associate Professor of History Education and History, History and Philosophy, Kennesaw State Univeristy, United States Georgia, United States
    • I was born in the United Kingdom and spent 10 years as a teacher  in Urban schools and ten years teaching in Higher Education . I moved to the US in 2008 and teach undergraduate US history and the history Education Methods Course.