Fostering Diversity and Inclusion in the Social Sciences

Edited by:
Amy Samuels, The University of Montevallo
Gregory L. Samuels, The University of Montevallo

A volume in the series: Social Science Education Consortium Book Series. Editor(s): Whitney G. Blankenship, San Antonio College. Matthew T. Missias, Grand Valley State University. Anne Aydinian-Perry, University of Wyoming. Dean P. Vesperman, University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Published 2021

The United States’ social and economic inequities stood in high relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, spotlighting the glaringly disproportionate systemic injustices related to public health and the economic impact on minoritized communities. Realities of structural and institutionalized racism and classism were exposed to greater degrees as we sought to understand and investigate the inequitable impact regarding health and income disparities for African American, Latinx, and Native American communities, as well as racial violence explicitly targeting Asian American communities. Further exacerbating the polarized sociopolitical landscape amidst the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, witnessed by countless people around the world, resulted in anguish and drew heightened attention to the insidious racial injustice and ongoing racial violence that continues to plague the nation. As many advocates took to the streets in an attempt to have their voices heard in the continued struggle for racial equality, the federal government tried to further silence those who have been historically placed on the margins, including the attack of critical race theory, antiracism work in education, and training for diversity and inclusion. Consequently, it is imperative social science educators are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and dispositions to facilitate learning that explores the implications of power, privilege, and oppression and ask important questions to ensure voices that have been muffled, or silenced altogether, are strategically unsilenced, voiced, and valued.

Given the perpetuation of inequities, existing educational disparities, and the continued need for reconciliation, this volume explores how the social sciences can be examined and reimagined to combat injustices and support further diversity, equity, and inclusion. Authors explore how educators can (a) understand how knowledge is constructed, shaped, and influences how students see the world, (b) problematize current curricular approaches and reframe instructional practices, (c) employ a critical lens to attend to and proactively address existing challenges and inequities related to race, (d) infuse their teaching with greater attention to diversity and inclusion for all students; and (e) promote increased awareness, advocacy, and educational justice. Through the examination of research, theory, and practitioner-oriented strategies, the authors encourage reflection, inspire calls for action, and explore how to teach about, proactively challenge, and encourage continued examination of society to support progress through increased critical consciousness, cultural competence, and critical multiculturalism.

Acknowledgements. Introduction, Amy J. Samuels and Gregory L. Samuels. Understanding Social Inequalities through Critical Democratic Education, Steven P. Camicia. Democratizing Learning by Decolonizing Knowledge: A Vision for Redistributing Power and Reimagining History, Daniel Osborn. Epistemic Engagement: Teaching and Learning about Ways of Knowing, Leonard Taylor, Jr., Hannah Baggett, and Kamden Strunk. Same Space, Different Imagination: Using Critical Spatial Analysis in Social Studies Education, Jesús A. Tirado and Sara B. Demoiny. Inclusive Practices in Social Studies Classrooms: Including All Students in All Aspects of Learning, Melissa Martin, Darren Minarik, and Timothy Lintner. Stepping Out of the Ivory Tower: An Antiracist University-Community Partnership, Kevin McGowan and Melissa Winchell. Policy, Standards, Textbooks, and Their Role in the Teaching and Learning of African American History: An Anti-Blackness Education Theory Case Study, Antoinette M. L. Rochester and Tina L. Heafner. Reterritorializing the Elementary Social Studies Curriculum: A Self Study, Michelle Anderson, Hillary Van Dyke, Takiyah Dixon, Ilene R. Berson, and Michael J. Berson. Scaffolding Preservice Teachers’ Accurate Knowledge of Black History and Appropriate Pedagogies in Local Contexts, Natalie Keefer and Melanie Harrington. Redress and Restore: The Search for Founding Black Mothers, Candice Logan-Washington and Gretchen B. Rudham. Lessons Ignored: Teaching the Conclusions and Failures of the Chicago Commission on Race Relations, Anne Aydinian-Perry, Matthew T. Missias, Dean P. Vesperman, and Whitney G. Blankenship. Can Education Fight Back? Immersive Experiences and Private Spaces to Confront and Transform Othering, Melissa Winchell and Sarah Thomas. Social Distancing: Wait a Minute...We Have Been Isolating Ourselves! Debora J. Champagne and Teddi S. Deka. The Missing Context for Justice in Social Science Education: “Autobiographying” Disciplinarity in a Post-Pandemic World, Allan Michel Jales Coutinho. Biographies.