Monday, February 28, 2011

How immigration is taught

I have found a website for a a high school in Massachusettes which has a overview of how and why they teach an immigration module. Shady Hill High School does teach a vast amount of American History and this includes the immigration that began in the 19th century or as they put it (the great waves of migration.) The module focuses on a range on nationalities such as the Irish, African-American, and the Mexican but it doesnt look at whether the Anglo-American's are immigrants. Instead choosing to focus on the more obvious immigrants who dont fit into the dominant ideology of being a white, english speaking person. This shows how the dominant use the schooling system to make some children feel left out, while the white children can feel superior knowing they were always there. The module then looks at the problems that have arisen for immigrants in the past to do with The Bill of Rights and Citizenship which suggests that the immigrants position is even more constested. The module also brings up the idea of boundires of the United States and the borders which the immigrants cross (sometimes illegally) in order to get the Ameircan way of life.

This school doesnt say that they teach or touch upon the issue's that many immigrants have or had to deal with day in day out such as the housing problems, the lack of jobs, the over-crowding and the discrimination that they recieved. Overall this sppears to be a very biased view of immigration, because although it is taught who immigrated and when, and for what reasons - it fails to refelct the difference in quality of life that was experienced between the immigrants and the Anglo-Americans. So although the children learn that immigratation is common and that many different nationalities live in America; it struggles to show the children that certain immigrants have a different way of living.

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