Presented by Alan Singer, Director, Secondary Education Social Studies and Teaching Learning Technology, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
As of April 2023, eighteen states banned the teaching of Critical Race Theory and what was described as “disruptive concepts” in K-12 classrooms, and in another nine states, legislatures were considering similar bans. In Florida, the “Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees” or Stop WOKE Act, prohibited public school teachers from introducing topics, books, and other material that might make a student or group of students feel guilty because of past or present behavior by people who were members of the race or ethnicity that they identified with. This could mean editing out of history any classroom discussion of slavery, racism, anti-Semitism, genocide, gender bias, and the treatment of indigenous people, immigrants, and religious minorities. Teaching about topics like slavery and the European Holocaust can be difficult because of the upsetting way people were abused and dehumanized, but slavery and the European Holocaust took place. That assertion is not controversial.
Alan Singer is a social studies educator and historian in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Technology at Hofstra University, Long Island, New York. He is a former New York City high school teacher and regularly blogs on Daily Kos and other sites on educational and political issues. Dr. Singer is a graduate of the City College of New York and has a Ph.D. in American history from Rutgers University. He is the author of Education Flashpoints (Routledge, 2014), Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach: A Handbook for Secondary School Teachers, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2013), Social Studies For Secondary Schools, 4th Edition (Routledge, 2014), Teaching Global History (Routledge, 2011), New York and Slavery, Time to Teach the Truth (SUNY, 2008), and New York’s Grand Emancipation Jubilee (SUNY, 2018).