Title

Beyond Tipis and Arrowheads: Children's Responses to Lessons on Historical Injustices against Native Americans

Abstract

In July 2015, Washington state implemented a law requiring all school districts to cover in their curriculum the history, culture and governance of the state’s Native American tribes. Washington’s superintendent of instruction and 29 federally recognized tribes recommend the Since Time Immemorial curriculum, which emphasizes tribal perspectives and a more accurate representation of history. Our presentation examines the effects of such history lessons on children’s racial attitudes. In our research, participants ages 7 to 11 are asked to complete measures of racial attitudes before and after three 20-minute interactive history lessons based on the Since Time Immemorial curriculum. Following each lesson, participants’ empathy, racial guilt and moral disengagement are also measured. We hypothesize that participants’ racial attitudes are more positive after the lessons, and that greater improvement is related to higher levels of self-esteem, empathy and collective guilt, and to lower levels of moral disengagement.

Faculty Sponsor

Emily Bushnell

Sponsor Department/Programs

Psychology

Tracks

Developmental Psychology

Location

Olin 157

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 11th, 9:30 AM Apr 11th, 9:45 AM

Beyond Tipis and Arrowheads: Children's Responses to Lessons on Historical Injustices against Native Americans

Olin 157

In July 2015, Washington state implemented a law requiring all school districts to cover in their curriculum the history, culture and governance of the state’s Native American tribes. Washington’s superintendent of instruction and 29 federally recognized tribes recommend the Since Time Immemorial curriculum, which emphasizes tribal perspectives and a more accurate representation of history. Our presentation examines the effects of such history lessons on children’s racial attitudes. In our research, participants ages 7 to 11 are asked to complete measures of racial attitudes before and after three 20-minute interactive history lessons based on the Since Time Immemorial curriculum. Following each lesson, participants’ empathy, racial guilt and moral disengagement are also measured. We hypothesize that participants’ racial attitudes are more positive after the lessons, and that greater improvement is related to higher levels of self-esteem, empathy and collective guilt, and to lower levels of moral disengagement.