Did you hear that the state of California may now require social studies curriculum to teach about the contributions of GLBT individuals? Read my thoughs on Michael Reagan's article "Gay Social Studies Curriculum?" for a conservative look on the subject.
I recently read an article by famous political son, Michael Reagan,
which involved what groups would be credited in a new social studied
curriculum. The article,
discussed how new California curriculum would now list contributions by
people based on their sexual orientation, specifically, California is
now the first in the nation required to “include the contributions of
gays and lesbians in their social studies curriculum”.
aptly notes that this legislation not only promotes the gay/lesbian
activities and lifestyles, but it opens up students to wondering why
these people are qualified in the text as being lesbian, gay or
transgendered, and why this aspect of their person makes them more
special than other peoples. Sure, everyone loves to get credit, but is
it really necessary to qualify the contributor with some sort of label?
Although somewhat facetiously, Reagan wonders, “When I was a youngster I
was teased and bullied for being an adopted child. In view of my
personal experiences, should we add the contributions of adoptees to the
legislation? How about adding the contributions of skinny kids, or kids
with red hair, or extra-long legs or eyeglasses”?
not saying that all qualifications descriptions are bad, certainly not.
In fact some "qualifications" (as Reagan puts it) enhance the story
because the qualification or description is pertinent to the story. For
example, it wouldn't make sense to omit that Rosa Parks was a black
woman, the story of a woman sitting on a bus wouldn't be sensational or
ground breaking. If we didn't know Ray Charles was blind he'd just be
another (albeit, great) piano player. Beethoven's deafness was also
astounding because it directly related to his musical contribution, and
made the beautiful pieces of music even more unbelievable. I think what
Reagan— and I— are stressing is that it should be the contribution and
the contributor, not chosen circumstances that are the stress in the
The wise teacher should remember to teach the concepts
of the text, but focus on the person himself, not what the person does;
meaning that the teacher would discuss the any contributr to society but
not necessarily focus on their sexuality. Similarly, a teacher may
discuss the importance of the presidency, while still not agreeing with
a President's moral and political actions.
Ultimately, this issue
of what should and shouldn't be included in textbooks, and who should
be involved with textbook selection is relevant to educational
leaders.Curriculum selection also relates to the way teachers omit or
stress points in the textbook or mandated curriculum.
For more articles on curriculum selection visit: