Children and young adults need to see themselves in the curriculum. Students, particularly students of color, have low levels of attachment to our communities, to California and U.S. civics messages in significant part because the government institution they encounter the most- the schools- ignore the students own history, cultures and experiences. This is not an accident- it was a choice.
The 1987 California History Social Science Framework still in use today to guide the selection of California textbooks expanded African American, Native American, and women’s history coverage but remains totally inadequate in the coverage of Latinos and Asians. The only significant change between the 1985 and the 2005 adopted Framework was the addition of a new cover, a cover letter, and a photo of Cesar Chavez.
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What are they missing? The history of the Chicano movement.
The Chicano Movement began in 1965 in Delano, California when Dolores Huerta and Cesar E. Chávez, founders of the National Farm Workers Association (later it became the United Farm Workers union), led a national boycott against table grape growers in the region because they failed to recognize their collective bargaining rights. Chávez, the president of the farm workers union, and the farm worker struggle, became the face of Chicano protest and struggles. While the United Farm Workers union brought national and even international recognition to the plight of Chicanos for labor rights, it had overarching consequences. Many young Chicanas and Chicanos felt connected to the farm worker struggle even though the majority resided in urban areas and had never themselves worked in the California agricultural industry.