Teaching the civil rights movement, teaching social studies, teaching history, the civil rights movement
Teaching the civil rights movement can be challenging. Many history textbooks contain the national story of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, the march to Selma, Alabama, and not much more. Classrooms across the United States follow this path of nationalizing the civil rights movement. This interpretation is only a small part of the civil rights crusade that existed throughout the United States, including in the state of Florida. Teaching only the national story, especially when the local exists, can ignore the human, ordinary element of this movement. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the lived experience of central Florida teachers when teaching the civil rights movement. It is based on the theoretical assumptions that the national story is the only narrative being taught regarding the civil rights movement, and it sought to determine whether this is the case in the state of Florida, which incorporates the use of local history in its state standards. Data were collected through the use of surveys along with follow up qualitative interviews. The sample size was 319 teachers of whom 65 responded, and eight personal interviews were conducted. Findings show that more than just Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks are being taught, but it is still mostly the national story and not local, community history. Nine themes were identified, ranging from the impact of teachers, which builds upon previous research, to the negative opinion that teachers have for the texts being used, to the different content and timelines being used in social studies classrooms when teaching the civil rights movement. These data are important to educators, historians, administrators, and teachers iv because this is one of the first empirical studies on the subject of teaching the civil rights movement.
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Russell, William B.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Education; Social Science Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance, Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic
Houser, Barbara, "Teaching The Civil Rights Movement: A Phenomenological Study Of Central Florida Teachers" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2951.