Posted: June 14th, 2021
The objective of Assignment 3 is to take and apply the ideas summarized above to a local, relevant, and very timely issue: the presence of Ethnic Studies content and approaches in general education (breadth) courses.his topic is timely because our school is considering a revision of its general education curriculum, which has been largely unchanged for 40 years. This process has included discussion about what types of courses should be required, and why. As of writing, the Ethnic Studies requirement remains unchanged (the requirement will still be to take one Ethnic Studies course) but there have been discussions within the General Education Review Committee (see https://senate.ucr.edu/committee/?do=info&id=109Links to an external site.) about the extent to which racialization; social justice; liberatory pedagogies; and diversity, equity, and inclusion should be integrated into general education courses. Related to this are debates about the appropriate role of university education, such as extent to which curriculum should prioritize “traditional” academic areas or take a more critical approach, such as emphasizing how power structures affect what gets taught and how. For instance, the norm in most language courses is to teach or correct toward a particular standardized variety even if it is not what most students’ families speak. A common example of this is that most college-level Spanish classes in the United States teach Castellano (a dialect of Spanish associated with Spain) even though most U.S. college students who have Spanish as a heritage language come from families that use a different variety of Spanish. A “traditional” approach might emphasize Castellano, especially in academic contexts; a critical approach might question why a European variety is considered prestigious and focus instead on using dialects of Spanish that are spoken in the Americas.
you are asked to write 2–3 double-spaced pages in which you choose ONE specific general education (breadth) class you have taken or are currently taking, evaluate this course in terms of how it does or doesn’t incorporate an Ethnic Studies approach, and make specific recommendations, with reasons, as to why its curriculum should remain as is or change.
These topics include raciolinguistics, language policy, language demographics and ideologies (who uses what languages, and how these patterns are viewed), the “hidden curriculum,” differential funding of schools, education for assimilation (explicit policies to promote assimilation of non-dominant populations, as with American Indian and Deaf boarding schools), immigration status, how race and racism are or are not addressed in education, and resistance and activism in educational contexts. Again, this assignment represents an opportunity to consider these issues with respect to one specific class you have taken or are taking for a breadth requirement at school. (There are courses with designations such as Humanities, English, Physical Sciences, or Foreign Language, where you choose from a list.)
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