A new African-American History curriculum is underway in Buffalo schools, and the challenge is to present a more accurate and thorough picture of the history of Africa and African-Americans than has been previous provided in social studies classes.
Nearly half the students in Buffalo are black and the subject has been discussed for a long time. It has picked up steam as the state Education Department has adopted a new framework for teaching social studies, which is closely aligned with learning standards. The framework is a basis for districts to write their own curriculum.
According to chief academic officer Anne Botticelli, the purpose of the curriculum is to have students see themselves and keep them more engaged. It will include more information about Latino contributions as well as other cultures.
According to Eva Doyle, retired teacher and historian, the curriculum should have been revamped years ago.
“I’ve been fighting this battle for more than 30 years,” Doyle said. “I’m glad we have African-American history month in February, but my message was we should be teaching this all year long as a normal part of the school curriculum.”