As I’m sure you can imagine, I have a good deal to say on my governor’s signing legislation “requiring public schools to include the contributions of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender in social studies curriculum.”
But, I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. And a lot on my mind. So, I’ll just offer some quick thoughts and excerpt a post that pretty much echoes my thoughts. Basically, we shouldn’t include such contributions just because they were made by gay and lesbian people, nor should we exclude contributions just because they were made by gay and lesbian individuals.
The issue is not the group to which the individual who made the contribution belonged, but the value of the contribution.
That is, we shouldn’t include some minor, insignificant poet in school curricula just because he’s gay, but, shouldn’t exclude Walt Whitman because he was drawn (emotionally, sensually, sexually) to individuals of his own sex. We should study Whitman because he’s a great poet (perhaps indeed the greatest American poet).
And when teaching Whitman’s poetry or the prose of Oscar Wilde, teachers could reference these artists’ sexuality so that students can better appreciate their work. Indeed, knowledge of these two writers’ sexuality provides both a window into their creative process and a means to deepen students’ understanding of the stories they tell, the imagery they use and the ideas they convey.
But, is legislation necessary to do that? I’m skeptical. So too is my pal Sonicfrog who knows what it’s like to teach students. He thinks “this is absolutely NUTS!”
What exactly are they going to teach?
OK. I have no problem with giving him a mention. That was a somewhat landmark election.
That’s already taught in the Civil Rights curriculum and was included in the text book I was using while student teaching my social sciences classes.
Read the whole thing.
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