Center for Asian American Studies
Center for Asian American Studies

Dynamic Stories: Teaching Asian American History and Culture

Wed, May 13, 2015
Dynamic Stories: Teaching Asian American History and Culture
Graphic novels about Asian American history

On May 13, former CAAS director, Dr. Madeline Hsu and Curriculum & Instruction doctoral student Noreen Naseem Rodríguez led a day-long workshop for Austin ISD teachers entitled Dynamic Stories: Teaching Asian American History and Culture.  The workshop presented an opportunity for practicing educators to learn about Asian American history coupled with a collection of five instructional units containing historical background, readings, lesson plans, and additional teaching resources for kindergarten through 8th grade students.

Dr. Hsu provided attendees with a historical overview of immigration legislation and discussed Asian migration.  Then Naseem Rodríguez used a combination of children’s literature, graphic novels, film, and student artifacts to demonstrate ways that teachers could weave specific events and individuals in Asian American history to their existing curriculum.  Units covered Chinese Exclusion and Japanese incarceration as well as topics such as Filipino farmworkers in California and Asian Americans in the Civil Rights Movement. Attendees also received a list of annotated bibliographies for a range of children’s literature about Asian immigrants and refugees and their experiences in the United States and multiple resources about Islamophobia.

The workshop was well received by participants and several AISD teachers intend to begin using the curriculum materials in the 2015-2016 school year. The workshop is a part of the district initiative to bring greater prominence to ethnic studies in the school curriculum. Dr. Hsu and Ms. Rodriguez provided critical curricular resources needed for teachers to deliver history and literacy instruction that is more inclusive of the many cultures and groups that make up our country. 

Noreen Naseem Rodríguez, M.Ed. is a doctoral candidate in Social Studies Education at the University of Texas at Austin.

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