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Null Means Numb: Teaching Black Lives Don't Matter

dc.contributor.authorSmith, Ariel
dc.descriptionTeaching and Learning Department capstone project.en_US
dc.description.abstractRace has returned to the forefront of discussion in the United States given the nation’s current social and political climate, causing educational institutions to face calls to re-examine, redefine, and recreate educational policies and practices that have long been considered oppressive to traditionally marginalized racial groups. Currently, one of trending issues of curriculum instruction and reform centers on null curriculum and the omission and/or oversimplification of Black history and contribution to the advancement of civilization. Despite the creation of Ethnic Studies and other disciplines such as Black Studies, African American Studies, Africana Studies and Black Diaspora Studies, there have been little to no effort in the Education Policy sphere to integrate the content from these disciplines into the standard curriculum required at the state and national level. By limiting the study of Black theory, history and culture to an optional supplement to the curriculum, educational institutions reinforce their historical stance of treating Black people as separate and unequal since Slavery began in the United States. By reinforcing the ideology that Black lives do not matter through the omission of African American contributions and scholarship, educational institutions hinder the development of a strong racial identity for African American students, which has been shown to have a correlation with academic achievement. By using Eisner’s (1985) definition of null curriculum, I will review the value (or lack thereof) that the United States educational system has placed in the education of African Americans since 1619. To show this, I will highlight four periods of history (No Education from 1619-1865, Miseducation from 1865-1968, Counter-Education from 1968- 1990a and Bordered Education from 1990s- present). Following the timeline, I will present suggestions for implications that can be made to create not only curricula but an educational system that affirms that Black lives do matter.en_US
dc.publisherVanderbilt University. Peabody Collegeen_US
dc.subjectBlack Lives Matter, curriculum, multicultural educationen_US
dc.subject.lcshAfrican American children -- Education -- Historyen_US
dc.titleNull Means Numb: Teaching Black Lives Don't Matteren_US
dc.description.collegePeabody College of Education and Human Developmenten_US
dc.description.departmentDepartment of Teaching and Learningen_US

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