Fall 2021 Dialogue

Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education Programs

I am an American featuring activist Amanda Nguyen created by Shepard Fairey is about reaffirming the idea that Asians belong. For this and other free downloadable images, visit Amplifier.org.

Welcome to our Fall 2021 dialogue.

We ask that you post an initial response to one or more of these questions from October 18th-26th, 2021. Then, please respond to at least two posts to generate dialogues across contexts and experience. We encourage you to engage in conversation with others from October 26th-November 1st, 2020.

Recommended readings: Start with this blog post by Dr. Betina Hsieh written the day after the Atlanta shootings. Then, read this edited transcription (Coloma et al, 2021); of a conversation that took place on April 11th, 2021 “in response to the increasing attention as well as escalating fear due to anti-Asian racism and violence” (p. 378).

Next, read this article by Liz Kleinrock, view this video from the New York Times, and review this statement issued by the California Council on Teacher Education.

Background knowledge and thoughts: “Asian America” is an umbrella term that white-washes the diverse ethnic, linguistic, and religious origins of the people meant to be included. By using this term, we exclude and marginalize an already disregarded population that has been ostracized and made invisible over generations. But the term also has roots inspired by the Black Power Movement of the 1960s.

Considering this knowledge, what did you learn about Asian American history when you were in K-12?

Introduce yourself; where do you go to school? What is your degree program and how far into it are you? 

How, as a teacher, might you challenge the dominant story of Asian American history and expand the narrative? (Consider your content area, grade level, and your current/future students in your response). How will you (or do you) teach or connect with Asian American Studies in your classroom?

For those of us who are not Asian American: What might educators, teacher candidates, and/or students do to support Asian American students and colleagues?  

In what ways can teachers, schools, and neighborhoods build coalitions with our students? How might YOU begin to do this? (Consider your local or state community in your response.)


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127 Comments

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  1. Greetings everyone! My name is Andrew and I am an aspiring social science educator in the Single Subject Credential Program at California State University, Long Beach. I am halfway through my final semester before student teaching.

    I am a Chinese American, and I unfortunately did not learn much Asian American history in my K-12 schooling. The most I ever got was a sentence about Chinese coolies working on the Transcontinental Railroad and a brief discussion about the Japanese American concentration camps from World War II. I was able to read Farewell to Manzanar, a memoir based on the Manzanar Japanese American concentration camp, but that was not even in my history classes, but rather my English class. Needless to say, Asian American history, as well as ethnic studies in general, was sorely lacking before I went to college, and I believe that it is still lacking to this day. California signing ethnic studies into the state curriculum and making it a graduation requirement for high school students is a step in the right direction, and I hope to be part of this initial cohort of ethnic studies teachers.

    As an alumnus of the Asian American Studies undergraduate program at the University of California, Los Angeles, it has always been and will continue to be my goal to “challenge the dominant story of Asian American history and expand the narrative.” Expanding the narrative is especially important because the “dominant story” of Asian American history is this: no story. Beyond the two instances I mentioned in my preceding paragraph, there is almost no Asian American history in the K-12 curriculum. Students would be hard pressed to believe that Filipinos actually arrived in the contiguous North American continent almost two centuries before English colonists decided to declare independence from the British crown. Ideally, I will be teaching ethnic studies, in which I will be connecting my lessons to Asian American, African American, Native American, and Latino American Studies everyday. Students will investigate community histories and current issues in an inquiry-based manner. If I teach any other social science subject, I will always try to find ways to connect my lessons to Asian American Studies, and ethnic studies overall. This would be especially important in teaching US History, as it is often taught in a Black-white racial binary that ignores contributors to American history of Asian, Latino, and indigenous descent.

    Teachers, schools, and neighborhoods can and should do better to build coalitions with our students. Showings of solidarity in the form of cultural celebrations, campus clubs, and community events are just some of the things that can be organized in schools. This is something that I am interested in galvanizing. For example, around February, schools can organize Lunar New Year assemblies that feature lion dance. I would be particularly interested in organizing this at my future school.

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    • Hi Andrew, my husband grew up in Orange – we haven’t made it out that way for a few years due to the pandemic, but it’s lovely out there. Anyway, I was just curious, you mentioned that you read the memoir based on the Manzanar Japanese American concentration camp for your English class – did the teacher assign it to the whole class? I just remember being able to pick our own choice of book to do book reports on when I was in school, but most of the book choices for whole class assignments were the “classics” that none of the kids were interested in. I love that you are going to always find a way to incorporate ethnic studies into whatever you teach. Your ideas about engaging the community through cultural events are very interesting – we need more of that across the country.

      Really great post – I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

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      • Hello Serena,

        Thank you so much! Yes, Farewell to Manzanar was actually assigned by the English teacher to the whole class. I did not appreciate it nearly enough at the time, but in hindsight, I am glad that she asked that of us to read it.

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    • Andrew,
      Looking back on my own educational experience, I can’t remember learning much about Asian history either. I do remember learning about the concentration camps that were put in place for Asian Americans during World War II, but it was definitely minimized. It seems like history is geared more towards Chistopher Colombus and Pilgrims, then it is about the different ethnic groups that make up our Country.
      The United States is made up of many different ethnic groups. My family immigrated from Portugal on my mothers side, and Ireland from my fathers side. Instead of focusing curriculums solely based on “white english immigrants” schools should be teaching about all of the ethnic groups that helped build our country. Students should be taught about their heritage and the impacts that their ancestors had on shaping the United States. It’s honestly getting harder for anyone to relate to the history that they are teaching in schools, because we all come from different backgrounds, and students can’t relate to what’s being taught.
      I love that you are so actively involved in advocating for ethic studies. It is so important that more people begin having these conversations, so that our children can be better educated on their own history as well as the history of other ethic groups.

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    • Hi Andrew,

      I had no idea that CA was adding ethnic studies as a requirement in the curriculum, that’s definitely a step in the right direction based on your experience with the lack of Asian American history being apart of the curriculum. It’s interesting to read about your thoughts on connecting history lessons to encompass a variety of different perspectives. In my own experience of attending high school in southern CA, my senior year english class covered a wide range of historical non-fiction literature that covered a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and experiences. I really enjoyed the curriculum and I am sure your future students will also appreciate the integration of cross cultural additions into your future curriculum. I also enjoyed reading about your ideas of integrating traditions practiced by non-Western communities into the school culture. I think this is very important in making sure everyone feels represented!

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  2. Hi everyone, my name is Saren and I go to school at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). I am in my first semester of the Single Subject Credential Program with a focus in English. I hope to become a high school English teacher 🙂
    Looking back on my K-12 education, I can barely remember learning anything about Asian American history. I can recall learning about the Gold Rush in elementary school and briefly learning about the Chinese individuals who immigrated to California during this time. I also vaguely remember learning about Chinese Americans building railroads and being discriminated against. I had heard about the Vietnam War from outside sources like TV shows, but I never learned about it. To this day, I still don’t have a solid idea of what exactly happened or why that war even took place. I also remember briefly learning about Japanese internment camps in high school. It is unfortunate to know that although Asian Americans have been such a rich part of United States history, we are taught so little of it. Thankfully I learned a lot more as I got to university, but it should not take that long for students to learn the histories of Asian Americans.
    As mentioned in the blog post “I am too tired to issue statements…”, Asian American women are often thrown into a dichotomy of either powerful seductresses or submissive women. As a high school English teacher, I plan to address these stereotypes and give students insight into the reality that Asian American individuals come from a variety of diverse countries, backgrounds, languages, and lifestyles. There are even vast differences within a single family home, just like there are differences in most families. I plan to incorporate Asian American stories in my classroom through literature, such as Julie Otsuka’s novel, When the Emperor Was Divine, which tells about the tragic realities of Japanese internment camps. Having students read from the voices of Asian Americans themselves brings power to those individuals who have been historically oppressed within U.S. society. I would also love to hear any recommendations of poems, short stories, or novels written by Asian Americans that anyone may have! I’d love to build a wide variety of Asian American literature to offer my students.
    As someone who is not Asian American, it is important for me to acknowledge my privilege in knowing that I will never be discriminated against for certain things such as “causing COVID,” like the Chinese American high school student described in her video. I also know my experiences with racism as a minoritized individual will not be belittled in the same way that it is for Asian Americans, who are often viewed as the “model minority.” I have been and will continue to be an ally for my Asian American colleagues, friends, and strangers by validating their experiences, using my voice to speak up for them, and providing open spaces for them to share their voices. I will make sure my students know that everyone is welcome in my classroom, and racism or discrimination of any kind will absolutely not be tolerated. I hope to teach in a way that allows my students to appreciate people from all different walks of life.

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    • Hello Saren. Thank you for your wonderful and indepth post. I myself am in the single subject credentialling program at CSULB in my final semester before student teaching. I know its hard. Keep up the good work lol. I wanted to respond to what you had mentioned in your final statement about the environment of your class and wanted to add that I couldnt agree more with you. Part of being a great educator is creating a safe learning environment for your students. It is the only way to have a balanced class with students that trustworthy of yur material.

      Have a wonderful night.

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    • Hi Saren, I really enjoyed reading your post and I can totally recall the same things you did in elementary school. I too think we didn’t learn much about Asian discrimination besides just being told they were discriminated against. To be totally honest, I remember learning that Chinese people came to California to work on the railroad, but i wasn’t told that they were treated so poorly. I also didn’t learn about the Vietnam War except that it happened and our country lost. I really hope that moving forward, we teach our students more about Asian history as the people of Asia were a very important part of the history United States and the world.

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  3. Hi everyone! My name is Cindy and I currently attend California State University, Long Breach (CSULB). I am in the Single Subject Credential Program. After this semester, I am one semester away from obtaining my mathematics teaching credential.

    I will be honest, I do not know much about the history of Asian Americans, besides the prominent historical events, such as The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the internment of Japanese Americans, and the murder of Vincent Chin. My K-12 teachers did not teach and provide us more information besides what was in our textbooks. The history we are taught is very lacking and whitewashed. Our school’s curriculum and textbooks need to be revamped to include more stories of BIPOC. We need to hear and read more stories from a wide range of individuals. Our classrooms will be very diverse, and it is important for our curriculum to be representative of that diversity. However, I also blame myself for my limited knowledge of Asian American history. I have not actively seeked out more information and done more research, but that will change.

    In my future classroom, I will incorporate stories of Asian Americans in my curriculum. I will not wait until it is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to celebrate and acknowledge their importance. I will bring more awareness and teach how Asian Americans have experienced life in America and their impact. My content area is math and everything can be connected to math. Stories have the power to teach, influence, inspire, and build connections. Numbers alone, unattached to words, are meaningless. However, by adding context to the data and numbers, it allows people to understand and make sense of them. Numbers and data can be used to tell compelling, powerful, and transformative stories. I want to broaden my students’ views and how they perceive different topics.

    Betina Hsieh (2021) mentions to further address anti-Asian violence, we should support Asian American advocacy organizations, learn about Asian American studies, and use the platform and influence we have to educate others (p.392). Challenging the dominant story of Asian Americans, starts with me. I need to be proud of my culture. I need to educate myself. I need to take it upon myself to learn about Asian American history, and from many different sources so I do not limit myself to one perspective. I will then share these resources and knowledge to my students so we can have thoughtful and inquisitive discussions and dialogues. I hope through these conversations, it will light a fire under them and prompt them to learn more about Asian American history. I hope they will be encouraged to share what they have learned to those in and outside of the community.

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    • Hi Cindy,

      I certainly appreciate how you mentioned you would not wait until Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage month to celebrate and learn about their cultures. Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage and history are American history. As a nation of immigrants, we should have our curriculum in school value all voices throughout the year, not section off specific heritages or cultural identities in different months, only to study those cultures briefly before going back to the usual curriculum.

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    • Hello Saren. Thank you for your wonderful and indepth post. I myself am in the single subject credentialling program at CSULB in my final semester before student teaching. I know its hard. Keep up the good work lol. I wanted to respond to what you had mentioned in your final statement about the environment of your class and wanted to add that I couldnt agree more with you. Part of being a great educator is creating a safe learning environment for your students. It is the only way to have a balanced class with students that trustworthy of yur material.

      Have a wonderful night.

      Like

    • Hello Cindy!!!!!

      I wanted to thank you for your wonderful and indepth post. I wanted to respond to what you had mentioned in your final statement about the integration of the Asian American stories into your classroom and I couldnt be more filled with hope. A major part of being a great educator is creating an environment for you students so that they feel safe to discuss topics amoungst their peers. Now more than ever we need unity in times of division. I feel as if our youth doesnt understand the times we’re in because they dont understand each other. By integrating the rich histoory of all our traditions and backgrounds, we will be able to understand each other and will be able to unify as one. we live in one of the most diverse countries and living hee in California, we live in a melting pot of people with rich history. THis country is predicated on the multiple backgrounds of the ancestors that built this country. It’s ingrained in the soil and fabric of our country. We need more educators like yoursellf out there.

      Thank you for your wonderful post. Have a wonderful night.

      (P.S Sory for the mix up in the earlier comments. i tried replying earlier but it wouldnt. So I copied my reply and refreshed the page. I had to do this for another reply. Turns out it pasted thee wrong comment. My bad. have a good night.)

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  4. I went to school at California Baptist University and got my bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts. I am currently at CSULB, and I am almost finished getting my Single Subject teaching Credential. In addressing the hate directed towards Asian Americans, and the biased dominant history of Asian Americans being spread, I hope in my classroom to confront this by addressing the root of the issue and not the symptom. The New York Times Video “How Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School” aptly reminded us that pandemics have always inspired xenophobia. In the 19th century people spread rumors that Irish immigrants were spreading cholera and called tuberculosis a Jewish disease. When confronted with fear, particularly of illness, disease, and death, people panic and try to take control. This is done usually by finding someone to blame, isolating and ostracizing them in a desperate attempt to make themselves feel safe and in control.
    As such xenophobic hate and fear has been aroused with the spread of the coronavirus it is more important than ever that we lift up individual Asian American voices and stories to combat the gross generalizations of an entire people. Education in the arts can be a vital tool to stop the spread of hate driven by fear and misunderstanding through generalization. Art at its core reflects the time it was made and the people who made it. Students should be encouraged to express their stories in meaningful works of art and then share those stories with their peers. In a photography class this could be accomplished in a project where students create a photo/video montage about an important adult in their life, with an audio interview interlayed over the photos. Art is an incredible tool to teach empathy and understanding and encourages us to deeply examine and look at the stories of others. By lifting up the voices of marginalized people in our art education we send the message that these voices are valuable and meaningful. We can tackle the root of the problem directly as we learn empathy and understanding to fight against xenophobic fear and self-preservation by learning to care for and understand others.

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  5. Hello to you and thank you for taking the time to read, my name is Alex Duremdes, currently I am a student at CSU Long Beach focusing on getting my teaching credential, with the aspirations of becoming a 9th & 10th grade ELA teacher. I am in the final stretch of this program and intend on student teaching in the spring.

    I am a Japanese- first generation American, my father immigrated to the United States via Guam when he was 18 years old, 46 years ago. Growing up my father tried to instill as much of his native heritage into me and my sister with food that he loved and grew up with, by entertaining us with Japanese media/entertainment, and by engaging our intellectual development by enrolling us in a Japanese school, that focused both on language and culture. However, Japanese school was extra curricular, it was Saturday mornings, from 8am until 2pm which was met with little enthusiasm after a whole week of school on top of that.

    As for my K-12 instruction on Asian American Culture, it wasn’t until, I believe, my sophomore year in high school that anything concrete was discussed. Before high school the only Asian American history we looked at was excessively superficial, such as the building of the Great Wall, or the different rices from across the nations. In my sophomore year we did a unit on the internment camps of California and focused on the daily lives of the Japanese who lived in them. I remember being confused throughout this unit as American history up until that point had always painted America as the great calvary, joining the fray in times of great need to win the day, to be purveyors of justice and freedom. This was the alternative view to that belief, but it wasn’t what was bothering or confusing me. I know that there is no light without the dark and no one especially not nations can remain without guilt of misgivings; but what bothered me the most was once again, American history painted themselves, the capturers, as heroes. We were taught that life in the Japanese internment camps really weren’t that bad, that the Japanese was widely excepting of the internment camps and went willingly. We weren’t taught about the living conditions, or the forced incarcerations, or the destruction of business and lives alike, but rather we examined that the Japanese in the internment camps had access to creeks to go fishing, could walk freely within the encampment, and was still allowed to engage together as a community; essentially trapping our impressionable and developing mind in the belief that for these Japanese, their experience being incarcerated in the camps was more like an extended vacation than the concentration camps we learned about in the previous year.

    As a future educator in English language arts, I believe that it is one of my major responsibilities within this subject matter is to teach empathy, empathy for the individual and the stories that they can and need to tell, empathy for people, for life, and for world as it could and should be. I can achieve these goals by starting off with examples of people overcoming great obstacles to be able to tell their stories and the truths that surround them, with the outcome of empowering students with the tools they need to be able to tell their own story and the truths that surround them. To not be afraid to go against the grain to get their messages across, and that history doesn’t always have to be subjugated by the dominant culture. Every story can be like the seed that grows in the middle of the street, first it germinates, then it struggles and builds up strength to one day break through the concrete and tar placed over it to reach the light and grow even stronger.

    I think in instilling and modeling empathy for different cultures, for different in ideologies, and differences between individuals (not all Asian are the same), we can slowly begin to squash pre existing biases that have for too long controlled the narrative surrounding Asian-American people. When we take the empathetic approach; to tell stories of personal accounts and to model what beyond acceptance looks like. To educate and model to our students to see people from diverse backgrounds not as “them” but as an extension of “us” with new realms of funds of knowledge, that can only help us in the pursuit of our universal goals of bettering our lives and the lives around us. When we teach in such a manner students really begin to understand that sentiments of over sexualizing Asian-American woman, or thinking of them as “Dragon Ladies,” or Unclean for what the media portrays their diets to be; are all intolerable sentiments. I guess the point of it all is through empathy we and slowly but surely move away from categorizing people to their preconceived stereotypes but rather begin to see people of varying backgrounds of extensions of ourselves and the stories we tell.

    I think a good way in developing a coalitions, surrounding sentiments of rebuilding and acknowledging the story of Asian Americans and the cultural funds they bring, is by reminding students how easily, especially in California, it is to access cultural events in our communities. I’d wager that for anyone in the surrounding areas, that it wouldn’t be more than a thirty minute drive to be able to engage with an Asian influenced cultural event. Oban festivals happen all across Southern California in August that engage with delicious food and honors the spirits of the our Ancestors, Yuan Xiao Jie the Chinese lantern lighting ceremony happens once a year celebrating the final day of the traditional Chinese calendar showcases the beauty and ingenuity of Chinese culture, or even weekly night markets happening all across Southern California that showcase a variety of traditional Asian cuisine as well as newly reimagined mixing of culinary experiences. In the short of it we can build coalitions by being excited to engage with cultural events that bring people and communities together that is accessible to everyone through arts, food, and exploratory dialogues.

    Post Script: Even as I write this and draw with ideas on building a coalition to engage students with Asian American cultures I realized that my own knowledge bank of Asian holidays and festivals are extremely finite and more centrally focused on the larger Asian cultures, an interesting expository in acknowledging that my own fund of knowledge surrounding Asian American lives (as an Asian American is extensively finite.)

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    • Hi Alex,
      I shared a similar experience in school where the only Asian American history we were taught was a brief mention of Japanese Internment camps in Sophomore year American history. The narrative in schools seems to focus only on the black-white dichotomy in American history and forgets all of the other cultures that make up our incredibly diverse nation. Although I understand that there are only so many days in the school year to teach, and that we as teachers must prioritize information, representing the history and cultures of all of our students should be much higher on the priority list than it is. When our students’ cultures are studied thoroughly in class it sends the message that there culture is valuable, and that they are valuable. Studying cultures different than the dominant narrative and cultures different than our own also helps us to develop empathy, as we understand others struggles. The humanities like art and English are excellent for developing empathy for other cultures as they help students to deeply engage with material from other cultures and synthesize responses to that.

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  6. For some background knowledge, I am a Korean American student at CSULB and I’m working to get my teaching credential. I finished my degree in Math at UCI and I plan to be a math teacher. I moved to the US before my first birthday so I grew up here. I actually remember learning a decent amount of Asian history during my K-12 education. I suppose the schools I went to recognized its relevance as these schools always had a sizable Asian American population. However, I don’t remember learning much, if at all, about Korean history.

    In world history, I remember learning about the Chinese dynasties. We learned about inventions like the printing press, gunpowder, and silk. We learned about Confucianism and merit systems. We also learned about the powerful Japanese empire. The class system that included samurais, shoguns, and daimyos provided rich content. However, there were almost no mentions of Korea. I understand to some extent why Korea was never mentioned as even within my own research, Korea never seemed to be very influential.

    In US history, I remember lessons about the Chinese immigrants that came in the 1800s during the Gold Rush, their role in building railroads, and the laws that followed that stopped their immigration. As we moved on to US imperialism, I remember the concentration camps they built in the Philippines. Of course, when we got to WWII I learned about Pearl Harbor and the internment camps like Manzanar. For the Cold War, I recall reading a bit about the Vietnam War. Just before that section were the small passages about the Korean War. You’d miss it if you read too quickly.

    I recall all this information of what I learned from history textbooks and some literature, such as Farewell to Manzanar, from my English classes. Asian history was mostly China and Japan, and Asian American history, when present, rarely included Korean Americans. However, the sole problem isn’t the absence of Korean or Korean American history in the curriculum. A larger problem is the lack of opportunities to explore and share this history. As a future math teacher, I can’t ensure every lesson is going to contain culturally relevant topics or ideas, or that everyone’s culture will be included in my lesson plans. Instead, I’ll provide opportunities for students to apply mathematics to their own histories or identities. For example, I could have a project at the end of a unit that allows students to find how a formula or math concept from the unit can be applied in their history or culture. This allows every student, including Asian Americans, to share their unique and diverse cultures. This also offers me the opportunity to better my own understanding of students’ identities and improve the content of my instruction. Another important idea is to build a sense of community with students. As a teacher, I plan to ask my students about different events that are happening in their community and try to attend these events. I’ll have a better perspective and understanding of a community by being a part of it. This would help me build an informal coalition with students. By valuing the history and culture of students, I think students will be far more inclined to learn and pay attention in class. This is especially important in math as math is a particularly difficult subject for most students.

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  7. HI all, I’m Dan A a student at FSU.

    I think these posts raise some interesting insights regarding how Asian American history is taught in school. Personally, however, I do not think it is really up to me to determine how this type of thing is handled in schools, simply because it is a very multi-variable issue. To start, schools don’t just teach US history; they also teach world and ancient history. However, there is limited time. How do we decided which histories we cover in depth, and which we simply gloss over? Secondly, America is a very mult-cultural place. Even within the ‘white’ population, there is much diversity in terms of culture and heritage, just as there is within the East Asian, South East Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, Sub-Saharan African, Latino, Caribbean, and Oceanic Communities. So, when teaching American history, do we just gloss over each culture and go an inch deep for hundreds of countries? Do we offensively generalize, and suggest that teaching Chinese history is close enough to Vietnamese history?

    I cannot answer these questions. Truthfully, I do not even know what the goal of history classes is. I should think that a part of it is to instill in children the enlightenment-values laid about by the Founders when the started the country; but past that, I have no idea.

    Beyond this, I also think it is important that everyone treats anti-Asian racism the same as they do any other form of hate: with absolute intolerance. Regarding this issue then, teachers should be on the look out for any form of discrimination or bullying that seems to be taking place against their students of Asian heritage. However, I also think that this issue is well beyond the scope of a teacher’s profession, and I don’t think we have the power to be much more than a drop in the well on this issue in all likelihood.

    I am also curious about what others think teachers should do regarding this issue. Should we challenge students who hold such beliefs and try to demonstrate how & why their view is wrong? Or should we simply silence them as we do for more typical forms of bullying?

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    • Hi Dan!

      I think you bring up a lot of good points. American history is so rich and there is so much to cover. Time is an issue, and it does not seem as though there is enough days in the school year to teach everything thoroughly. How do we cover all that we want to, without glossing over everything? Finding that balance will be tough, but it starts with us reassessing the curriculum. If we reflect and think about the content our history books cover, it does not accurately reflect the diversity in the United States. That needs to change. When creating lessons, we should be mindful to provide a multicultural education. Students should have opportunities to explore their own and other cultures.

      When we witness students discriminating or bullying others, we must address it immediately. I think the first step is to have a conversation with them and discover why they hold these beliefs. Is it misinformation? Negative influences? I would hope after having one or multiple conversations, they will be more empathetic and understanding. I think only if the problem persists should we silence the student. As future educators, it’s important to create a community where individuals are allowed to have differing opinions, but they must be respectful and kind to each other.

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    • Hi Dan,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree that it will be very difficult to decide what to focus on when there is just so much history and stories to choose from. However, the current narrative focuses on mostly glorified American history that often leaves out stories of indigenous, Black, Asian, Latinx people. I think an easy start would be perhaps to share different perspectives of the same events but from a more diverse population of people.

      I also think that teachers do have a lot of power in challenging the issue of Asian-American hate. I definitely agree that any form of hate should be treated with absolute intolerance but also as an educational opportunity. We should be trained as educators on how to deal with instances of racism and discrimination that take place in the classroom. Looking at these instances as chances for growth for students to unlearn racist behaviors that have been passed down from generations is imperative.

      – Bella

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    • Hi Dan, I whole-heartedly agree with you. These decisions on what to teach and what to skim over are probably the hardest decisions we have to make with the tie allotted to us in a school year. I also agree that although we are the teachers and it is our classroom, we are not the ones fully in charge of it. We are told what students have to know based on the standards and we can only fit in so much of what is not included in the standards that it is impossible to have to choose what to teach. I also agree that racism, no matter who is the victim, shouldn’t be tolerated at all. I am sick and tired of people judging white, Asian, Hispanic, black, and other kinds of people based on how they look and where they’re from. I think that we should teach kids about that in school, and maybe, just maybe, that’ll help with all of the movements happening in today’s society, especially the Stop Asian Hate Movement.

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    • Hey Dan. I thought about how best to encompass the wide and diverse range of students and their cultures in a history class. You identified two problems that I wanted to highlight.

      The first would be the sheer number of various groups and subgroups. It’d be almost impossible to have a curriculum that encompasses all these histories within the taught content. Even if you were to go over Vietnamese history or Vietnamese American history, would you also have to look at the Hmong? If you were trying to go through each students’ cultures and histories in a diverse class, you’d be quickly overwhelmed. Would these groups all get distributed the same amount of time and level of focus? I’m Korean, but even I think the Vietnam war is more relevant to US history than the Korean war. The Vietnam war should surely get more time and focus than the Korean war.

      The other problem is the danger of simplifying or generalizing the histories and cultures. Not every teacher will have a solid understanding of each culture, and what is significant to their students or the groups that they are teaching about. It’s almost better not to approach the subject at all if you do not feel capable of speaking on it.

      I think a solution to this is to utilize students’ funds of knowledge and have them bring the history to the class. That way, their history and culture is shared to both you and their peers. You don’t have to put in the overwhelming work yourself. Instead, you coordinate the discussion and the learning while the students bring the content. If you feel confident about students critical literacy, they can also share what they learn about a different culture from their own. all these histories within the taught content. Even if you were to go over Vietnamese history or Vietnamese American history, would you also have to look at the Hmong? If you were trying to go through each students’ cultures and histories in a diverse class, you’d be quickly overwhelmed. Would these groups all get distributed the same amount of time and level of focus? I’m Korean, but even I think the Vietnam war is more relevant to US history than the Korean war. The Vietnam war should surely get more time and focus than the Korean war.

      The other problem is the danger of simplifying or generalizing the histories and cultures. Not every teacher will have a solid understanding of each culture, and what is significant to their students or the groups that they are teaching about. It’s almost better not to approach the subject at all if you do not feel capable of speaking on it.

      I think a solution to this is to utilize students’ funds of knowledge and have them bring the history to the class. That way, their history and culture is shared to both you and their peers. You don’t have to put in the overwhelming work yourself. Instead, you coordinate the discussion and the learning while the students bring the content. If you feel confident about students critical literacy, they can also share what they learn about a different culture from their own.

      Like

    • Hello Dan,

      I read your post with great interest. I understand that we cannot learn everything about our students, but I think it is important to know them to the best we can, and it is important to give them a voice in our classes.
      When I started teaching (before I started the credentials), I realized very early that I needed to know my students to be a great teacher.

      Students can learn about other cultures in other subjects than history and when it is shared by other students, it makes even more real and in my opinion, it broadens their view of the world. I am talking from my experience. I attended a multicultural school In France and I learned so much about other countries, continents, other religions, customs.

      Another experience that is not related to that but my grandfather fought during WWII and he shared his experience with me and my siblings. He showed us pictures and he talked about it, and I remember that when I studied it in history, it was not just a lesson in history. It was a part of my history too. I was very engaged and very interested. I read many books about the topic.

      I teach French and I have had students from different countries, and I always give them a project about their family. Students share about their families, the countries where they/ or their families come from, and they use their funds of knowledge. Students ask their parents, their community and by doing that, I get to know my students, the community, I reinforce the links in the community, and I give the students a voice in the classroom.
      At the same time, all the class learns about other countries and other cultures and other experiences.

      This project is just one example. I also include songs, texts/videos/posters from different French speaking countries in my curriculum.

      Like

  8. Hello everyone, my name is Connor Batte. I am currently a student at California State University, Long Beach, where I completed my undergraduate degree in History, and is also where I am in my second semester in the Single-Subject Credential Program. I start student teaching next month!

    To begin this post, I would like to say that I am Filipino American, and I am an immigrant who moved to the United States when I was three years old. Looking back in my journey through California’s education system, I unfortunately admit that the schools I participated in discussed Asian-Pacific history only sparingly. I remember being taught about Chinese labor helping build the railroads, I remember learning about the imperial acquisition of my homeland of the Philippines as a reward for defeating the Spanish, Japanese internment during WW2, and then followed by the conflicts that took place in Asia during the Cold War. However, the bulk of my knowledge pertaining to Asian-Pacific history, comes from my own volition as being a member of the greater Asian-Pacific community in America.

    Now, as a future educator, I intend the challenge the master narrative that dominated my learning experience throughout primary and secondary school. I draw inspiration from the few teachers I had who spent the time to explore my identity, my heritage, my culture; I will also draw inspiration from what I have learned from the program I am now enrolled in. I intend to spend some time away from the main guideposts provided by the current California State Standards, and explore stories that are not discussed. I intend to educate my students of the Chinese Exclusion Act, I intend to teach my students about Filipino labor that built the Dole plantations of Hawaii, I intend to teach my students of Asian-Pacific American Civil Rights.

    However, I will not only teach the untold stories of Asian-Pacific history, but I also intend to introduce the teaching of these cultures into my classroom. As pointed out by Elizabeth Kleinrock, Betina Hsieh, and several others, there is serious lack of education pertaining to the Asian Pacific background and experience. This lack of understanding and education, is what lead to the proliferation of stereotypes against Asian Pacific Americans, which has recently been further amplified by dangerous political rhetoric regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic. 10th Grade World History, is the subject I desire to teach in the future. A lot of academic time is spent on learning cultures of ancient societies long gone. Obviously the learning of these cultures is important for understanding our own world, but why is so little time spent on learning about current, living, breathing cultures of Asian Pacific Americans? These are challenges I intend to alleviate when I become an educator.

    Ways in which we as educators, can create coalitions within our communities to help and support Asian-Pacific Americans, is by learning the cultures. Perhaps creating after school clubs with students, or after school cultural events. In my homeland of the Philippines, “Boodle Fights” are great ways of community building, it is a shared meal with the entire community where all the food that each member has cooked for the event, is served on a massive table where everyone sits together and eats with their hands. Something similar to this, can be a great way of building community at our schools, and can be a great way of educating our students. Lunar New Years celebrations, or other culture specific community oriented events, can teach culture, but also empathy, which a lack of, has lead to the issues members of my community currently face and have faced for centuries before I was born.

    Like

    • Hey Conner,

      It is unfortunate that California’s education did not provide you with proper education on Asian American history. Similar to you, my experience from K-12 was that I did not learn much about Asian American history. It is great that you want to challenge the master narrative that is deeply ingrained in our education system. Similar to you, I plan on covering the history of people that are not typically covered. I believe that doing this will allow some of our students’ whose history is typically not covered to feel welcomed and important in the classroom. You also brought up some great ways to build coalitions among the communities in school. One other way that you could do this that you did not mention would be to have community meetings in which community members are allowed to voice any concerns or thoughts that they have. This would also allow people to bring more awareness to what is going on around the community.

      Like

    • Hey Connor,

      It’s great that you plan on challenging the master narrative. I thinks its good to take the time an move away from the main guideposts to teach the lesser known stories of a period and topic. Sometimes, students become disinterested in history as a lot of it is just a rehashing of things they have already learned, and by teaching lesser known histories and stories can renew interest in a topic. And it allows students to see that there is more to events like the Civil War, the Gold Rush, or the Transcontinental Railroad. I also like that you want to delve deeper into other people’s cultures. It is a big part of history, and can help students understand others and find similarities in themselves and other cultures. That, despite differences, they are similar.

      Like

    • Hello Dan,

      I read your post with great interest. I understand that we cannot learn everything about our students, but I think it is important to know them to the best we can, and it is important to give them a voice in our classes.
      When I started teaching (before I started the credentials), I realized very early that I needed to know my students to be a great teacher.

      Students can learn about other cultures in other subjects than history and when it is shared by other students, it makes even more real and in my opinion, it broadens their view of the world. I am talking from my experience. I attended a multicultural school In France and I learned so much about other countries, continents, other religions, customs.

      Another experience that is not related to that but my grandfather fought during WWII and he shared his experience with me and my siblings. He showed us pictures and he talked about it, and I remember that when I studied it in history, it was not just a lesson in history. It was a part of my history too. I was very engaged and very interested. I read many books about the topic.

      I teach French and I have had students from different countries, and I always give them a project about their family. Students share about their families, the countries where they/ or their families come from, and they use their funds of knowledge. Students ask their parents, their community and by doing that, I get to know my students, the community, I reinforce the links in the community, and I give the students a voice in the classroom.
      At the same time, all the class learns about other countries and other cultures and other experiences.

      This project is just one example. I also include songs, texts/videos/posters from different French speaking countries in my curriculum.

      Like

    • Hi Connor. I enjoyed reading your post. It brings into light the fact that perhaps the best way we can incorporate these stories in the classroom is by diversifying teachers themselves. I think it’s really important and powerful that you bring your own experiences to this because that is the most authentic way we can highlight Asian American (and Asian Pacific American) stories. I do agree that Pacific Islander stories and histories are underrepresented in our education system. Thank you for sharing!

      Like

  9. Hey everyone, my name is Paige and I am the single subject credential student at Cal State University Long Beach. I am obtaining a credential to teach history. I am almost done with the program, next semester I will be student teaching and then I am done!

    Looking back on my education I do not think while I was in secondary school I ever learned about Asian American History. I know that I learned about migration during the building of railroad and Asian Americans during the Gold Rush.

    As I have gone through this program I have watched the world become full of hatred towards Asian Americans with COVID. I feel like as I become a history teacher in the time we are living I am going to have to take into consideration what is going on in the world and what I am teaching and how I will approach it.

    When I have my own class and I am teaching students history, I always plan to involve a few lessons on another culture or ethnicity in that time we are learning about, because it is important to move away from the dominant narrative and talk about the less known stories or people of that time. That will include expanding the narrative of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants in other countries depending on what grade I am teaching. I will use the Learning for Justice article that included the sources we could use as teachers. I really liked the A Different Asian American Timeline because if I am teaching a certain period I could reference it and then be able to make a lesson based on what I learned from the Timeline.

    As someone who is not Asian American, I will never know the experiences that they have been through. But I will make sure that I use the community to learn and get help on how I can incorporate lessons that are appropriate and have good information. I want to make sure that students and colleagues know my door is always open if they need support or someone to talk to.

    Like

    • Hey Paige,

      I have noticed a common trend among many of us that are participating in this discussion that we were barely taught anything about Asian American history. This is one thing that I plan on doing differently from my previous teachers. I plan on making sure that I teach my students about Asian American history in detail. Reading and watching the hate that Asian Americans have gotten from various people has been heartbreaking. I would have thought that many minorities would have been more understanding but some were not. I am Mexican-American and I have seen in online videos other Mexican-Americans participate in this hatred. Similar to you I plan on moving away from the dominant narrative when teaching my students. One possible problem that I can see appearing when we try to move away from the dominant narrative is that a parent or two may call to complain when we cover controversial topics. I hope that as long as we use credible sources that our administration will have our back.

      Like

    • Hey Paige.

      I like that you’re bringing in current topics that are relevant to students today. The recent hate that came from COVID 19 reflects a history of xenophobia and racism. I think that’s a terrific way for you to bring the history of Asian Americans to your students. It’s a testament that understanding history is still relevant in modern times and it highlights the importance of learning it. Your use of alternative texts such as articles and timelines will also be helpful in providing even more access points to engage students and promote learning. An article would provide additional information and perspective in a way that differs from just reading a textbook. The timeline is a good way of seeing sequential events that happened throughout history in an organized and easy to follow format. They would supplement the textbooks well. I hope you’re able to also teach your students the literacy necessary to read and dissect these texts so that they can read and learn about the topic on their own.

      Like

    • Hey Paige,

      Its interesting how a common theme in these posts is that no one really knows enough about Asian history. Whether it be Asian history in association with our own American communities or just the greater history of Asia in general. I hope as future we educators, we can push for a new standard that includes more knowledge and storytelling related to Asia and the greater Asian-Pacific community. I appreciate and agree with you that as educators, we must find time to incorporate culture into our curriculum. It is the best way we can teach our students about each other and their neighbors, as well as teaching students empathy and the idea of being in a global community.

      Like

  10. Hello, my name is Jarrett Blake, and I am a History Education Major at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. I am currently in my practicum semester and will begin student teaching in the Spring with hopes to become a U.S. History Teacher.

    Looking back on my learning in my Junior year of High School, the only content that we learned related to Asian-Americans was the internment of Japanese Americans after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. We did discuss Asian-American involvement in the building of the Trans-Continental Railroad in 8th Grade U.S. History. I never heard of racism towards Asian-Americans during the Vietnam War, but I had assumed there probably was. I know after the almost 2 years of the COVID Pandemic, racism towards Asian-Americans increased significantly. There are also multiple stereotypes used towards Asian-Americans. Now I was a supporter of Former President Trump, but I agree that some of his comments made about Asians in general were racist. Calling COVID the “China Virus” or the “Kung Flu” was very disrespectful. As, we all know, Trump didn’t have a filter and didn’t know when to stop.

    In our classrooms, we need to have a better understanding of Asian-American hatred. As this has been going on for several hundred years, but we do not read about it in our textbooks until Middle School U.S. History or High School U.S. History. When we do, it is brief. We need to teach them about the hate towards Asian-Americans during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, but I think after the Pandemic, we need to pay more attention to the subject.

    In the statement by the California Council on Teacher Education, the organization is committed to condemning the violence that has erupted over the past year and a half, as well as to identifying why Asian-Americans are understudied, and under-researched. Asian-American diversity needs to be taught better in schools K-12 and ethnic studies need to be implemented in our school’s curriculum.

    Like

    • Hi Jarrett!

      I agree with you. Trump has a lot of influence and power. Him calling it the “Chinese Virus” or “China Virus”, was very disrespectful and insensitive. It worsened the discrimination and hate Asians faced. His remarks unfairly stigmatized Chinese Americans and prompted some Americans to blame them for the pandemic. I’m curious how this topic will be covered in future history textbooks. Will they discuss the violence and discrimination Asian Americans faced? Or will it be brushed aside and maybe be mentioned in a few sentences? Like you stated, you don’t recall reading about the racism that occurred to Asian Americans during the Vietnam War. There were probably numerous instances, but our textbooks did not choose to include it or deemed it important enough. It’s important that we don’t allow it to be buried, forgotten about, and minimized. We need to teach our students about it and its impact.

      A lot of cultures are understudied and agree an ethnic studies should be implemented. As students learn about other cultures, it will bridge the gap and they will grow to be more empathetic and appreciate the differences amongst cultures.

      Like

    • Hi Jarrett ! Racism towards Asian Americans definitely has increased during COVID-19. Hearing Trump say all those awful things was painful to hear and watch on the news, as many Americans did blame the Asians for causing this pandemic.

      I do agree that in our classrooms, we need a better understanding of Asian-American hatred. We don’t learn enough about Asian-American history, the hardships they went through or even the positives they bring to this country. I’m really glad Ethnic Studies is part of the school’s curriculum now, hopefully educators will bring more light upon Asian-American history and talk about the hatred which rose during this pandemic.

      Like

    • Hi Jarrett,

      I agree racism has jumped since covid-19, particularly aimed towards Asian Americans. One of my friends from Canada experienced this hatred, and racism because Trump at the time kept referring to the Covid-19 pandemic as the “Chinese Virus.” I know we have a long way to go when it comes to completely getting rid of racism in this country. As you mentioned, teaching our students about the past hatred this country and others has posed on not just Asian Americans but on Koreans, Japanese and Chinese people around the world needs to be acknowledged because like the old adage goes, “we don’t want history repeating itself.” Lastly, I believe acknowledging when something wrong/unjust happens in the world and it directly impacts one of your students life, it’s the teachers responsibility to step up and say something. I mention this because we are in a position where some of our students see us as role models and mentors, and we as educators need to be there for our students.

      Like

  11. Hello everyone, my name is Stacy and I am in the single subject credential program with a focus in art education at Cal State Long Beach. I am also currently teaching art & design full time at a school that specializes in working with students with learning differences, where I will be completing student teaching next semester.
    As educators it is extremely important to create spaces for all people to share their perspectives. As I reflect on my own educational experiences and while studying the history of education reform, I can understand that there are systems in place that prevent many different voices from being heard. We live in a society that thrives on popularizing one perspective, typically and historically the white, Eurocentric perspective. Unfortunately, it feels as though the American K12 education system has failed us. We are the next generation of educators and we have the power to create change, to create spaces where all are safe, welcomed and seen.
    However, the question is how do we create these safe spaces in our own classrooms when we live in a society that is perpetuating hate crimes and racism?
    Based on the readings provided, as educators we need to create the intention to learn the history from a non-Eurocentric perspective. This also includes being aware of media influence and trends on social media to know how to intervene when regressive actions are being spread. Specifically, in art education, we should be highlighting social/political movements documented through visual arts, incorporate non-Western art movements, and allow students to explore and share their own experiences through their work. In my own art classroom, I am creating spaces for students to explore social movements including the Stop Asian Hate movement, the BLM movement and any others that are culturally relevant to my students. In the art classroom, there should be an emphasis on students participating and working in their own communities to create collaboration with the people that are represented from their area. I hope as the next generation of educators begins to define their roles in classrooms, we can all work toward creating progressive change toward inclusivity and cultural responsiveness. It is up to us to create the spaces that students can feel accepted for who they are.

    Like

    • Hello Stacy, I agree with you the K-12 system has failed us. It has taught us one perspective, mainly white and Eurocentric, which is most definitely not the only perspective of American history. However, you are right we can make a huge change. Being the next generation of educators, we need to first educate ourselves to educate and guide our students to a more conscious and critically aware future. Making sure we are aware of the trends on social media, will allow us educators to know what issues are relevant to our students. Social media is part of their daily lives, and is the source of information for most students. Discussing such issues in the classroom is essential for students to dialogue respectfully and understand different perspectives.

      Being an art educator gives you a great advantage in incorporating projects to explore social movements such as Stop Asian Hate and having students express their views through photography, videography, and art. I love the idea of having students collaborate with their communities, I believe this will allow students to see multiple perspectives to support their beliefs and understanding of people. I would also like to incorporate students working with their communities in my math classroom. In my perspective, this will really allow students to make their work more memorable and meaningful.

      Like

    • Hey Stacy! I love how you started by stating the importance of creating space for our students to share their personal perspectives. This is one of my main goals as an educator. I plan to teach history so talking about current events will hold an important significance in my class. But the reason I want to teach history is due to the false information or Eurocentric POV’s that are usually present in history classes. I was surprised when I learned so many new things in university that I never knew before. Now I want to make sure I can teach kids the correct history for all points of views but also let them feel comfortable to ask questions. I also feel art is such an important subject that could incorporate so many different backgrounds and cultures! There’s no reason why art shouldn’t showcase diverse artists but it is insane to think back about all the art you’ve learned about growing up and most of them focus heavily on European artists, and that something you could definitely change!

      Like

  12. Hello All!

    My name is Tori, I am a senior at Westfield State University studying English Education at the Secondary level. I am currently halfway through my practicum, set to graduate in December.

    I grew up in a very white, middle/upper middle class environment where discussion of history was primarily focused on making the United States look like the good guy. The deepest my schooling got with Asian and Asian American history were the Japanese concentration camps, the American version of the Vietnam War, and The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The history I was taught was extremely white washed and watered down, making sure our country would be looked at in a positive light.

    I cannot sit here and say what educators should and should not do without first acknowledging that I have contributed to this lack of knowledge surrounding Asian and Asian American history, as I have not done research myself on it, which is going to change beginning today. As an English educator, I do my best to incorporate counterstories when teaching novels, especially from the American literary canon. My students will be reading the war novel The Things They Carried beginning in November, and I will be using counterstories from various Vietnamese authors, such as Ocean Vuong, in order for students to have another perspective on a topic that has very much been told as a single story. Giving students multiple perspectives on one event allows them to begin challenging the narratives they have always been told about various marginalized groups and American history. Due to the area I teach in, I am expecting some push back regarding the counterstories. While it will be uncomfortable, it is necessary in order to begin changing the narrative around Asian & Asian American stories and histories.

    When discussing the harmful stereotypes given to Asian and Asian American people, Dr. Betina Hsieh writes in her blog post “I Am Too Tired To Issue Statements”, “None of these castings were by our choice, or if some of us chose to engage with them, often it was a choice of survival.” Being given the choice of assimilate or becoming a target is not a choice anyone should have to make, yet it is one Asian Americans have had to make too often. Being able to feel safe talking about traditions and culture you practice outside of your house is a privilege many Asian American students do not have, especially not after the COVID-19 pandemic, and xenophobia is still rampant in this sad excuse of a first world country. A novel I read in my Young Adult Literature class called American Born Chinese tackles the topic of Asian American assimilation into the predominantly white culture, as well as the concept of racial melancholia. It is a wonderful read for both educators and students.

    Communities can help support Asian American students and families by showing solidarity with cultural celebrations in the community, including the works of Asian & Asian American creators in school curriculum, developing clubs in schools and on campuses, and creating safe spaces for Asian and Asian American students to tell their stories and begin a discussion around the narrative. As someone who is white, it is vital for me to continuously check my privilege and acknowledge that I will never be in harm’s way due to my identity and world events, such as COVID-19 and the deplorable acts of hatred and racism that the Asian & Asian American community have faced. This means it is my job to check others and their biases, ensuring that both my Asian American students and community members do not face the same kind of hate crimes that other innocent people have had to endure.

    Like

    • Hi Victoria! I am really glad you first acknowledged your lack of your own research on Asian American history, but to be fair, when you are in K-12, if the teachers and the school do not provide that information, students often do not have the motivation to go looking for that information on their own. That is why I totally love what you are doing in your class – having the class read The Things They Carried, but then also provided another perspective with counterstories by Vietnamese authors. That really makes the lesson more rich and well-rounded. I also appreciate that you brought up the “choice” that Asian Americans have to make – it is no choice at all!!

      I really enjoyed your post, and thanks for the book recommendation!

      Like

    • Hi Tori!

      I’m Saren and I’m in my first semester of the Single Subject Credential Program at California State University, Long Beach. I also want to teach English at a secondary level, so I loved reading the ways in which you plan to implement Asian American perspectives in your class. I read The Things They Carried as an undergrad, but was never given counterstories from Vietnamese voices. It’s so important to teach stories that have been traditionally taught making the U.S. out to be “the good guy,” as you mentioned, and provide narratives to counter this false belief. Yes, this country has provided many opportunities to immigrant families, including my parents, that they could not find in their home countries. Children of immigrants are often scolded by their parents for making any negative comment about America because we don’t know the horrible living conditions they faced in their native countries. While I completely understand, acknowledge, and truly appreciate the vast opportunities this country has given to my family and millions of others, I cannot ignore the subtle and blatant racism and homophobia constantly enforced in the dominant culture.

      I really appreciate you understanding your privilege and making efforts to educate yourself on the rich Asian American history you were robbed from learning about during your previous education. As a future English teacher, I will do the same work to inform myself and to properly be able to provide my students with meaningful dialogue and knowledge about the lives of Asian Americans.

      Like

    • Hello Victoria,

      Very strong introduction, and I can relate to your high school experience so much as it was centered around U.S is the good guy. It also seems like you are very passionate about changing this narrative and I think that is great and exactly what we need in this next generation of educators. I also enjoyed reading your ideas of including counterstories as I aim to take a similar approach in my history classroom. Yes me may experience pushback, but we are agents of change and its so important to keep up the momentum. Thank you for your post.

      Like

    • Hello Victoria! It seems that you’ve made strides to check your own privileges and biases and acknowledge how past schooling has affected your knowledge today. Being aware of how schools are biased in terms of whose viewpoint is determined to be important and how that affects what students learn is key to providing future students a better education. I was very glad to read that you’ve already begun choosing stories that would better enrich student learning in regards to Asian-American history and perspective. It is so supportive to have teachers be aware of the cultural challenges students may face and take steps to incorporate stories from the non-majority perspective. Along with what you’ve already mentioned, it’s important to show your students that you won’t tolerate harmful and racist rhetoric and will hold students accountable for their words and actions. Thanks for sharing with us.

      Like

  13. Hello, my name is Jacob Climer, I’m attending CSULB’s Teacher Credential Program, I have one more semester and then I start my student teaching.

    When reading these articles and watching the video, I couldn’t help but feel I was under-educated in K-12 about Asian American heritage and culture. I remember very little, but I remember being read a book called “Grandfather’s Journey” by Allen Say while in elementary school. Then in High school, I just remember learning about immigrants coming over to help build the railroad and the Japanese internment camps. It wasn’t till I took a class at Biola University where we went in-depth about Japanese internment camps and the history of Japanese Americans.

    As a teacher, I will be able to navigate my classroom the way I think it should be. Of course, there are rules and standards to follow, but having the ability to control what I can bring to the class is where the difference is. As an ELA teacher, I have the unique opportunity to bring influential work from any person into my class. This will be beneficial in bringing attention to AAPI representation. I can bring primary and secondary sources into the class to disrupt the cultural assumptions and give my students the opportunity to learn the good and the bad that have happened. After watching the show “Kim’s Convenience”, I watched a video of Paul Sun-Hyung Lee accepting an award for the show. In his acceptance speech, he said “representation matters” and this struck me because of how true it is and how representation can make a difference. For my class, I can bring in texts by Asian authors and give students the opportunity to reflect and learn from them. I can bring in their experiences, their thoughts, their writings and give students the opportunity to share how it influences them.

    I think that supporting students is a constant job for teachers. I think that stopping any sign of bullying (especially at the early stages) will help every student. There can be discussions and conversations as to why this is bad and what can be learned from it. Taking part in clubs and after-school activities will play a major role as well. Even if it’s just once a year, showing up has such an influence on students. As stated earlier, representation matters and it’s important to these kids.

    I think there are many ways that teachers, schools, and neighborhoods can build coalitions with students. Forming diverse friend groups will allow for conversations to take place that might not happen if schools are segregated into groups that aren’t willing to accept others. I feel, as a teacher, I can help introduce students to each other and begin those conversations of diversity and acceptance among students. If there’s anything I remember about my time as a high schooler, it’s that while in the marching and concert bands, everyone was a part of the team no matter what role or position you were in. We had students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and everyone was on the same team. I think students, faculty, community members, and everyone else needs to realize that while on this earth, we are all part of a team.

    Like

    • Hello Jacob Climer,
      I relate to the feeling and realization you had that your K-12 experience was under-educated about Asian American heritage. There were some parts of ancient China I could remember but never an Asian Heritage Day, week, or month. I remember learning about the internment camps, but it was not something that I recognized the atrocity of until university just as you share.
      With no Asian students in my school, this could be the reason why there was no value to teach students about Asian culture or history in English courses. However, there also were no White, Jewish, or British students in my school yet we read Anne Frank’s diary, Shakespeare’s plays, and several White authors.
      I’m glad to hear another ELA teacher plan to bring texts by Asian authors. From university classes, some texts I learned was the books, Kira-Kira by

      Like

  14. Hey everyone, my name is Sarah! I finished my Kinesiology degree at Cal State Fullerton, I’m currently in the single subject credential program at CSULB obtaining a credential in Physical Education and next semester I will be student teaching.

    Thinking about my education during middle/high school I don’t remember much learning about Asian American history. I do remember learning about migration but not enough to instill the knowledge and talk about it.

    Watching the New York Times Video, “How Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School,” was awful. How Asian Americans are viewed as, “dirty,” “they’ll eat any type of animal,” and how it all just got worse when the Coronavirus hit its highest peak in the United States. The two young females in the video explained how they not only fear for their lives but they’re even afraid of being themselves, that’s devastating for any young person to feel that way. Another point that stuck out to me while watching the video was when they were explaining how Chinese restaurants were suffering terribly because of the virus, while in Italy, cases were just as bad but nobody was boycotting Olive Garden. Looking back, pandemics have always created xenophobia, for example in the 19th century people spread rumors that Irish immigrants were spreading cholera or in 1900 when a Chinese man supposedly died of a plague in San Francisco, Chinatown residents were forcibly quarantined by police, while white residents were allowed to leave the area.

    Asian culture differs from American culture, meaning sports or physical activity is almost fundamental to Americans and even encouraged, while Asian families don’t share the same sentiment. For most Asian families, American sports are viewed as detrimental to their studies and retaining pre-existing values. One of the biggest worries for Asian families in America is losing the Asian identity. Living in America and growing up Asian American forces a constant tug of war between both cultures which make Asian youths participating in sports or physical activity much more difficult compared to Americans. Asian athletes often get zero respect, overlooked and are often viewed as non-athletic. That’s obviously not true, with Yao Ming dominating in basketball, as well as Jeremy Lin, Sunisa Lee who won Gold in gymnastics this past 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Naomi Osaka who beat Serena Williams to advance in the Australian Opener and Hidilyn Diaz who also participated in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo brought home the first Olympic Gold medal for the Philippines in weightlifting.

    Upon research at an after school program, the PCY center, a Japanese program where Japanese students could participate in sports and compete in their own league, were interviewed as to why they wanted to partake in this program. Sadly, all students had the same answer and the reason being is that they wanted to play sports in an area where they felt they could belong and not have to worry about racial micro aggressions and bullying. When I have my own class/field, it’s so important to be a good role model to my students by being supportive and welcoming of all walks of life. Representing all cultures by having posters up in my office, educating my students on present and past Olympics and doing activities/exercises/movements that involve cooperation and teamwork will allow them to get to know one another no matter their different cultures, ethnicities or backgrounds.

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  15. Good evening,

    My name is Larissa and I am in the Post-Baccalaureate Teaching Licensure program for English 5-12 at Framingham State University in Framingham, MA. I am finishing my final classes this semester in preparation for my student teaching practicum next semester.

    I remember very little about Asian American history from grades K-12. Like others have written, I remember learning about the Japanese in World War II, Japanese internment camps, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Chinese immigrants building our transcontinental railroad tracks. I also vaguely remember something from Social Studies about rice farmers and their innovative farming techniques, but that has been clouded over with time.

    As teachers, I really think we need to continue to present all races, colors, and creeds in an inclusive non-biased manner. We need to include Asian writers, artists and scholars in our lessons and reading materials. There are so many positive and enlightening Asian and Asian American writers that we need to include in our curriculum choices from an ELA perspective. We need to make these voices seen and heard. Asian Americans are so much more than the narrative with which we have been presented. They have a complex culture full of beauty and history.

    We need to support our Asian American students and colleagues by seeing and hearing them as well. We need to not make assumptions based upon preconceived notions or race-based ideas (like assuming that all Asian students are brilliant and will not need help). We need to do our best to teach and evaluate all of our students from the same unbiased positions. We need to watch for and address any bullying or anti-Asian attacks. All racism is intolerable and insufferable and should be treated as such.

    In regards to the final question, building coalitions begins with education. We need to learn about culture and race in order to be more accepting and open-minded. I am not sure how I would do this, but I am sure some creative assignments or discussions could go a long way in educating ourselves. I am reminded of my son’s Ancestry school project he did in the Third grade. They had to create a paper doll showing authentic clothing, write a report and present it to their classmates. Obviously this assignment in a high school setting would look different and be more complex, but I think sharing our ancestry and history would help expel misconceptions and aide inclusivity.

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    • Hi Larissa,

      I agree that our content should include Asian writers, artists, and scholars. Students can learn so much from the wealth of Asian and Asian American contributions that can only enhance our lessons and content. While we may not be able to easily incorporate these pieces in our lessons, starting a class with music from an Asian or Asian American artist as students walk in can be just as meaningful with a small class discussion to start the class. This idea tied in with your other idea of seeing students for who they are as individuals and not homogenous groups will create a welcoming and diverse classroom environment for our students to feel empowered to share their experiences and backgrounds.

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    • Hello Larissa,

      I agree with you. I also think we need to include diverse authors in our lessons and reading materials.

      Your son’s project is very interesting because students were able to share about their ancestors.
      I have a friend who has 2 daughters in high school here in Southern California and they had a project about their ancestors for school and had a discussion in class.
      And the girls told me that it was beneficial because they learned about other students, other cultures and other languages too.
      It created a sense of community in the classroom and it allowed students to know each other better.

      I would like to have such a project in my French classroom when we study the topic of family for example. Students could introduce their families and also share about their ancestors.

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    • Hi Larissa,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I also think as educators we have a responsibility to present perspectives and cultures from all races and backgrounds in a non-biased manner. It is so important to highlight and value stories of BIPOC people that have been silenced or altered to glorify others. Addressing bullying is a vital part of this process too. I think bullying situations should be treated with sensitivity and urgency by teachers and the administration. I hope that there will one day be a standard protocol and method of dealing with these instances. Teachers should receive implicit bias training and learn from professionals on how to handle racism, sexism, homophobia etc. in the classroom.

      – Bella

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    • Hi Larissa,

      My name is Saren and I am currently earning my teaching credential in ELA at California State University, Long Beach. I have similar experiences to you in regards to our clouded memories of the education we received on Asian Americans. Of course this is bound to happen over time, but I think another part of our forgetfulness comes from the fact that this wasn’t taught to us in meaningful ways. After reading through these posts, I was reminded that I actually did learn a lot of Asian American history in my AP World History class. We learned about the Chinese dynasties through songs and dances, and were taught in extreme depth about several different religions that originated in different parts of Asia. My teacher from this class, who I still keep in touch with, did an amazing job at teaching us in meaningful ways and using different perspectives for every historical event we learned about. The only problem is that we had to get through thousands of years of history from all around the world in such a short amount of time, so we never spent too long on any certain topic. This was not the teacher’s fault at all; rather, it was an unfortunate product of the AP system that tries to cram ridiculous amounts of information in students’ heads for memorization and regurgitation on a standardized test that holds enormous weight at the end of the year.

      I love your ideas of ensuring that students learn from “positive and enlightening Asian and Asian American writers” who speak about their “complex culture[s] full of beauty and history.” Assignments that have students discuss their cultures sound like they would be extremely helpful in having the class learn about their peers in wholesome ways. Once students see that different cultures live all around them and in their own classrooms, they can see the similarities across different backgrounds and diminish stereotypes.

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    • Hi Larissa!,

      I have actually been to Framingham, MA. I visited about 4 years ago and thought it was such a cute little town, very different from L.A., which is where I grew up in. I agree with you in the fact that we need to be more inclusive with the content that we share in our classrooms. The norm for content has been through the European/White scope and we have been conditioned to think that this is the only way to teach. If we think of learning as a multicultural experience teachers would open up so many more learning opportunities for students and not restrict them into fitting “one way”. I think ancestry is a great way to celebrate multiculturalism and appreciate uniqueness. Students should be proud of their individual heritage and learn about it in an academic setting. This will also serve as representation and students will see that they are valuable pieces in history.

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  16. Hello all,

    I am Gaelle. I’m attending CSULB’s Teacher Credential Program, I have one more semester and then I start my student teaching.

    Unfortunately, I do not know a lot of Asian Americans because I did not go to school in the USA but in a European country. I am just going to talk about what we learned about different Asian countries when I was in K-12. We studied WWII extensively and we learned about what happened to American Japanese people in the USA during WWII as well as Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    We also learned about the Indochina War because it was a former French colony and finally, we studied Japan and it was focused on a geopolitical aspect.
    We learned a little bit about the USA but the focus was very similar to Japan. We briefly discussed about “melting pot” but it was very superficial.
    Therefore I realize that I did not know much about Asian Americans.

    As teachers, I think it is very important to learn about Asian American Studies and to promote deeper study of racial theory that is inclusive of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. We also need to include in our curricula Asian American history, Black history, Latino history, Arab American history so that students learn different views.

    As a French teacher, I introduce students to many different French speaking authors/singers/scholars/artists from different continents so that students have a different view of what “Francophonie” is.

    To build coalitions, we need to know our communities and to be part of them. For example, I grew up in a very diverse community. We all knew each other, we would celebrate the different cultures and at school, they were included in the curriculum. At the end of the school year, each class would have “a show” for parents. I remember that one year, shows were about the stories of different students from the school. For my class, we had a story about a schoolmate from a country of Africa and it was a different story for each class. When I think about that now, I realized what the teachers did : not only did students learn about other cultures but parents too. And it gave a voice to all the people in our community.
    I think that allowing people to talk about their stories and their histories would help a lot.

    Thank you for reading.

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  17. Hi, currently pursuing my teaching credential for math at Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach, CA. Should be finished with the program after 1 more semester.

    I have been out of school for awhile, so my memory of what I learned is getting pretty hazy. But I remember learning about WWII, the Vietnam and Korean Wars. I remember learning about the Chinese immigrants that worked on the railroads across the Western United States. I know I learned about Genghis Khan, the building of the Great Wall of China, the colonization of India by the British, the Silk Road, the spice trade routes between Asia and Europe, introductions to Buddhism, Hinduism, Japanese Samurai culture, and a general understanding of the geography of Asia.

    As a math teacher, I can include historical context to the math that I am teaching. I can attribute certain ideas and theories back to their origins. Many foundational mathematic ideas came from Asia through the Chinese, Indian, or Islamic cultures. I think that my main contribution can be awareness of the stereotypes surrounding Asians and math ability. The common stereotype is that Asians are good at math. There are many problems with this assumption that I hope to always address when I encounter it. The first is the definition of “Asian”. When somebody think of Asian, I assume they are only considering somebody of Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese origins. The monolithic treatment of Asians is frustrating because Asia represents so many different cultures and ethnicities. Another problem about this stereotype is that it attributes success to a person solely based on their race/ethnicity and discounts the achievements of the individual student. I want to encourage students to embrace personal agency and believe that any student can be successful in math if they study and practice. There is no mystical math gene. It is true that some students may understand concepts faster than others, but that difference will always exist in everything in the world and it does not preclude all students from achieving mathematical learning. I do not want my students believing that they have an inherent disadvantage in learning math because of their race/gender/ethnicity, or that another student has an ethnic/racial/gender advantage in learning math. Those ideas are harmful to learning and to the overall classroom and school culture. Another way of challenge stereotypes is to present real-world examples of Asian contributions and issues in society today. Highlighting the success or contributions of Asians in popular culture or other areas outside of the stereotypical math/technology fields can help students develop a more complete and nuanced understanding of Asians and challenge their preconceived conceptions.

    I too was saddened and horrified by the killing earlier this year of 8 people in the Atlanta area. Dr. Hsieh’s blog post and the Kleinrock article express the outrage and sadness I am sure that many people felt in the days after. The public outpouring of support for the Asian community was encouraging but I felt like was more of a reminder that, oh yeah, Asians are a minority too and they experience hate just like everyone else. I am not sure why the Asian community is treated differently than the Black and Latino community. I would guess that it has to do with the belief that Asians are better off economically. A parallel issue that contributes to the current mistreatment of Asians is the Covid-19 pandemic. The fact that the original virus outbreak occurred in China has led some people to blame all Asian people for the pain or loss they have suffered because of the pandemic. Also, China has become the main economic and political rival of the United States. This positioning of China as a rival and threat leads to further mistrust and abusive behavior towards Asian people. A less covered but equally appalling development was the random attacks of Asian people in the San Francisco and New York areas around the Lunar New Year. It made me really angry to see many elderly Asian people being assaulted and robbed in broad daylight. The victims were often attacked without provocation and suffered serious injuries, sometimes leading to their deaths.

    There is no easy solution to these issues unfortunately. Schools can play an important role in helping stem the tide of racially motivated violence by teaching students that everybody deserves respect. I think when a person believes that another person is “other” or “different” then it makes it easier for them to treat them with hatred. If students can be taught to find common ground with other students, then maybe it becomes more difficult to treat them disrespectfully. If students only focus on the differences between one another, does that encourage community? Obviously differences exist, but if those differences are presented as part of a social/racial/ethnic hierarchy, does that encourage support or conflict? If students remain isolated from one another due to cultural differences, or language barriers, or prejudicial stereotypes, I have a hard time seeing how any understanding or mutual respect can develop. I hope to encourage community building by participating in celebrations of Asian culture whenever I can. I also hope to be involved in the lives of my students outside of the classroom. I enjoy engaging with students at athletic events, artistic events, and other school events where I can get to know who my students are on a more personal level. I hope that this will lead them to feel that I am somebody they can trust and respect to treat them as a complete person. I want all my students to believe that they are respected and that I value them as people with great potential regardless of how others may treat them or how society may stereotype them.

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  18. Hello, my name is Serena. I am a first year in the Masters of Teaching program at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. My first exposure to teaching was as a substitute teacher at my kid’s elementary school, and I realized immediately that I absolutely loved teaching. I recently enrolled in the Master’s program because I see it as a way to be the best teacher I can be for my kiddos. I am working to become a K-5 teacher.

    I went to grade school in a small town in northern California in the 1980s, and my memories of lessons regarding Asian Americans were focused on San Francisco China Town, the building of the railroads, and the influx of many different groups, including Asian Americans, into California during the gold rush. My educational exposure in K-12 to other cultures was pretty abysmal. It wasn’t until leaving that small town and going to college (the first time) that I began to learn so much more regarding the history of this country and the atrocities that have been inflicted on so many groups.

    As an educator of young students, I will have a unique opportunity to provide representation within my classroom and to teach my students the importance of embracing each other’s individuality while seeing the importance of creating a space for solidarity within our classroom community and within the community writ large. Integrating lessons to include multiple cultural perspectives creates an inclusive narrative that all of my students will be able to relate to. My role as a teacher needs to be one of an advocate for my students, and while that may seem insignificant, I think it can be huge for my students. As Dr. Betina Hsieh wrote in her blog post, “I am imperfect in these efforts, but I am ever striving to amplify, to advocate, to walk alongside, to love, to humanize, to listen.” I will continue to do what I can to amplify the voices of my students and make them feel that they belong.

    I also feel that it is important to collaborate with other teachers, school administration and the community to create an environment that is inclusive and works to eliminate bias. Reaching out to local and state government agencies is also important to building an educational curriculum that is inclusive and representative of our multicultural history. As many Legislatures across the country are outlawing the teaching of Critical Race Theory in K-12 (never mind that it wasn’t being taught in the first place), it is important to find creative ways of introducing a multicultural education within the classroom so that we can began to create a more culturally responsive form of teaching.

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    • Hello Serena,
      I think as teachers, we all have the unique opportunity with every student to engage in discussions that might be challenging and/or never talked about in the home. This can be used to our advantage to share the wealth of information that is not from “the norm of society”. Advocating for students of any type (of learner or person) is going to be such an important role as teachers. I love the quote you used, and I think it’s what makes teaching such an exciting career. Even though we are teaching, we are constantly learning and constantly applying new knowledge to the classroom!
      As they say, teamwork makes the dream work, and collaborating with teachers is going to be such an essential part of our careers. There are so many benefits to collaborating with other teachers and you do a great job at pointing out the relationship collaboration aspects.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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    • Hi Serena, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences about Asian Americans. You seem like a thoughtful and well rounded individual. And I love that you found your calling to teach, especially K-5. You understand exactly where you’re coming from and your biases as a teacher. I think that many experience a renaissance period during college where they recognize and realize many new epiphanies. I’m glad you understand your role as an educator to provide fair and proper representation of your students. I’m sure your lessons will have multicultural representation and the students will feel engaged and included. Collaborating with other teachers is a great way to create an inclusive environment. I didn’t think of that until I read your post. Thank you again for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Serena! I like how you mention collaborating with other teachers! Too many times, people talk about what they want to accomplish in their classrooms; they never mention working with other teachers. We can’t just focus on creating a certain environment in our classrooms but we should be spreading this environment to other classes as well. Other times we just might not know where to start and working with other educators can give you a starting point. I also agree that we should create a classroom community where we advocate for our students. One of the reasons I want to teach is to give information students may be unaware of but also provide them a space where they feel safe. Sometimes students don’t have safe spaces or people that accept them and I want to be at least one person who accepts them and gives them a place where they could ask questions and be themselves!

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    • Hi Serena,
      I appreciate your insightful contribution to this dialogue. I think many college students had that kind of experience of learning about the other side of the history of America as I did myself. I think it’s really important to acknowledge the inherent issue with that considering students that may not continue to go to college after high school. I think what you mention about wanting to be an advocate for your students is very significant to the lives of students. Students may not have many people “in their corner” so to speak, and with how much of their lives is spent at school, some students may see their teachers more than their own parents. It’s critical that we are there for our students to support them and do what we can to create an environment where they feel safe and are not victims of the harmful nature of cultural biases. Good luck on completing your Master’s program!

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  19. Hello! I am a student at CSULB in the Single Subject Credential program. I am currently in my second semester of the program. I have to say that I do not recall my teachers from K-12 teaching about any Asian history or Asian American history. I grew up with friends that are Asian and learned from them, whether they made a presentation for class or just by being around them, talking and listening to them. It wasn’t until I was working on my BA in Women’s Studies that I learned about the negative stereotypes that exist towards Asian women and also read texts, research articles written by Asian Women. It is quite sad that it wasn’t until college that I had access to this information. Had I been a different major, I wonder if I would have ever known what I know now.

    I plan to teach Spanish in a middle or high school setting. However, just because I plan to teach the Spanish language it does not mean that everything we speak about in class has to relate to a Latin American country. I think it would be great to bring in the culture of my students into a Spanish class and talking about their history or experiences in Spanish. I think they would find it refreshing to learn how to say things that they want to say in Spanish and make it more relatable to them. Spanish is a language and that means we can talk about anything as long as it is in Spanish. I think it would be great to collaborate with their future History teachers or English teachers and if they are discussing the work of an Asian American author or Asian History, to reinforce it by talking about it in Spanish class. I think it would be great to have books written by Asian authors in my class that have been translated in Spanish.

    I think educators can support Asian American students by being an ally. Making sure not to have bias in their treatment of Asian students but also in their lessons to value their culture and what they bring to the classroom. I believe it would be great if schools could teach more about Asian American history in their curriculum. I never understood how we never learn about the prospectives of non-white men/women in the US during significant historical events. I think schools in the US need to reevaluate their curriculums to make sure it is more diverse and respectful of the diversity that is currently living in the US.

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    • Hello, mc.
      It is great that you plan to introduce different cultures in Spanish classes. However, I would look into and share with students the history of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. There are common phrases, traditions, and names that Filipinos share with Spaniards showing students the relevance and importance of learning Spanish. You can also use this lesson to confront the colonization Spain has done to countries and how it continues to affect these countries.

      Additionally, there is a significant portion of people of Asian descent in Latin America. Historical figures such as Alberto Fujimori (Peruvian-Japanese) and Fulgencio Batista (possible Chinese descent) are Asian Latin Americans. There are also American celebrity figures who have Asian and Latin American descent such as Bruno Mars (Filipino and Puerto Rican) and Zach King (Chinese and Nicaraguan).

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    • Hello MC, I agree the US needs to reevaluate their K-12 curriculum to respect and represent the diversity of people who live in the US. Referring back to my experience, I learned a bit about Asian women in elementary through a literature text. Although, I am not sure if the teacher chose this book to represent the Asian community at my school or it was a story that was part of the curriculum. In this story, I learned about Asian women wrapping their feet to make them smaller and pointy as a sign of beauty. I do remember my fifth/sixth grade teacher explaining how people from all over the world have different cultures and we need to accept them; however, not really going past that. I wish she would have asked us what is something you do in your culture that seems different than others. To make everyone see that each culture has something different, instead of the fifth/sixth grade class judging and stereotyping.

      I enjoyed reading how you will incorporate every student’s history into your Spanish classes. You are right, even though it is a Spanish class that does not mean the dialogue has to be centered around Latin American countries. Students can learn to dialogue in Spanish about themselves, their culture, history, race, and interests. This will definitely make Spanish class more relatable to the students. Not only will they learn how to dialogue in Spanish, they would also be learning more about one another. I remember taking Spanish both in middle and high school, this would have made us learn about so many cultures of everyone in the classroom. I do remember learning about famous people singers, actors, and musicians and then having an assignment where we had to talk about someone famous from another country. That would be a great activity for someone to learn about other cultures and communities. You could also introduce public figures who have Asian and Latin American roots to bring the two together and ask students if they can find someone else as an assignment.

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  20. Hello, my name is Rina Cruz. I go to Cal State Long Beach. I am currently studying to get my credential in Secondary Teaching for English. After Spring 2022, I will have the skills to be a secondary teacher in California, but I plan to move and teach in Australia. I worry about leaving the United States and leaving behind students to teachers who do not value culture and progressing society. However, I know wherever I go there is racism that my students will face or participate in that I must confront.

    I am a Chicana who was born in LA but raised for most of my life in Compton. In Los Angeles, I remember a few Asian classmates I had when I was five years old in kindergarten. I also remember making fun of their languages and facial features. I remember being curious to try sushi and a boy being nice enough to let me try it. Then, even though he treated me with kindness, I chose to gag his food rudely. I also remember when I felt the guilt of insulting his food that night when my mom told me that what I did was wrong. By the time I was a teenager, I knew it was also not funny to mock languages or facial features. These horrible racist ideas I grew out of but came from adults I watched who continued to make these jokes and attacks.

    I could not tell you how exactly my humor changed, and how I became more aware of the harm in racist jokes. Perhaps I learned to connect the racist jokes towards Latin Americans that bothered me to other identities, or I was exposed to different things on the internet that educated me through it, or it was complicated and my love for anime made me appreciate Asian cultures but gave me a mindset that contributes to negatively affect Asian Americans. Whatever it was, I consider it luck because there is a sickness in the United States that has not confronted the Anti-Asian racism. Throughout my time in Compton, I was not exposed to people of Asian descent. In college, I learned more about microaggressions, fetishization, and generalizations that Asian-Americans faced but I still did not acknowledge the systemic racist issue they were also facing until late in my college experience where I took an ethnic literature course, and we took a deep look into Japanese internment camps. I remember learning about them when I was young where I probably thought that it was a time when there was a war and tough decisions were made. Then, when I was reintroduced to it in university and I had a critical lens of the United States, I was furious and disgusted.

    The problem here is I was not confronted in education about racism. Sure, I was shown books by Latino and Black authors. I read Siddhartha by Swiss-German, Herman Hesse. We read Martin Luther King’s speeches. But it was 2013, Treyvon Matin was murdered, Black Lives Matter was being called a Black Nationalist movement that advocated hate and violence, and none of the contemporary issues students were facing were being discussed. We can not simply give students books by authors of color, we must also teach them the history and where we are today with racism in the United States. As an educator, I plan to reintroduce students to the knowledge they probably learned and to understand it, not as just history that happened or a mistake the United States did, but as what racism does. I plan to show them books by authors who understand the pain that racism has caused them.

    To start in building coalitions with students, we (educators, schools, and neighborhoods) must value helping those in poverty through mutual aid, supply each other with accessible education through clubs, festivals, programs, and museum exhibits.

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  21. Hello, my name is Tina and I am in the M.Ed. program at Framingham State University in Framingham, MA studying Secondary English. I will be doing my student teaching next semester and graduating in May.

    I do not recall learning anything about Asian American history during my K-12 schooling experience, and if I am speaking honestly, I feel that I still have quite a deficit in this knowledge area. As English will be my discipline and I am concerned with a diversity of texts, I also do not recall ever reading any texts throughout my k-12 years that centered around any Asian American characters. It was not until my senior year of college when I studied postcolonial literature that I was required to read any Asian authors, but still not Asian American authors.

    The first step for me as a future teacher to be able to connect Asian American history and studies to the content of ELA and expand the narrative is to first better educate myself on Asian American history and experiences. I generally have thought of myself of someone who was knowledgeable and inclusive of the history of a variety of American experiences, such as black, indigenous, and latinx history and experiences, but reading some of the attached articles made me reflect and realize that I have quite a blind spot in this area. I cannot teach and be advocate for something that I do not fully understand myself.

    As far as my discipline goes, I am an avid advocate of providing and teaching a wide variety of diverse texts that are representative not only of the students reading them, but representative of our diverse population. That includes providing and teaching texts centered around relatable Asian American characters and written by Asian American authors. I also feel it is extremely important to cultivate a classroom environment where students feel welcome and able to express themselves and their individuality. Culture should celebrated and expressed openly; this can be incorporated into lessons, units, and the curriculum.

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    • Hello Tina,
      Congrats on your next steps!

      As I was reading your post, I couldn’t help but feel bad because of the lack of knowledge you received. That being said, it’s great that you will be able to apply new knowledge to your future students. (I had a similar experience by learning more in college).

      I love the idea of including the literature from diverse authors. This, I believe is going to be such an important and essential part of our job as teachers. I plan to continually learn about more diverse authors and include them in my curriculum. Especially with all of the movements that have been happening, advocating and raising attention for representation is going to make such a difference in these students’ lives.

      I love what you wrote: Culture should be celebrated and expressed openly. I love this and I can’t wait to have an open space in my classroom to allow students to share their experiences!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

    • Hi Tina!
      I totally agree with you on not having much experience when it comes to Asian American history. I appreciate how you realize that you cannot teach or be an advocate for something you do not fully understand and I think that’s wonderful to realize as a future educator.

      It’s awesome to know that you are planning to include literature from diverse authors, that’ll be great for students to get to know other cultures and ethnicities. I love that you feel it’s extremely important to cultivate a classroom environment where students feel welcomed and are able to express themselves and their individuality. Through my past experiences in high school, some of my teachers didn’t have that welcoming vibe and unfortunately I did not do well in their class. So it’s refreshing to know that you as a future educator will be able to provide that for your students.

      Thanks for sharing Tina, take care!

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    • Hi Tina, I’m also Tina. I’m a teaching credential student in subject of art at California State University, Long Beach
      I think it is very important to first educate ourselves about the Asian American history and experiences before teaching the student. we should have the knowledge to be able to pass it on. I think it is also important to have class discussions that will be lead by our Asian students. This way the students will be able to teach each other and express their experiences as Asian Americans and educate others about their culture and history from their own perspective next to the historical readings and researches that have been written by historians, that will be done in the classroom.

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    • Hello Tina,

      I think unfortunately most of us share this same story of not learning much about asian american history and still also having deficits in that area. When considering between english and history, I was concerned about the diversity of texts and the limitations as an english teacher, so I eventually chose history because I thought it might be more flexible. I like how you mentioned the way you would address this in the classroom by educating yourself further, and also incorporating different texts. I just worry that our curriculum is too restrictive and it may be difficult to include texts outside of the curriculum. Hopefully we can break down this barrier.

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    • Hello Tina,
      I think it is so great that you are hoping to provide your future students with opportunities to read Asian American authors. I hope you are successful in creating a welcoming class environment where students are allowed to share their experiences and their thoughts. I would really encourage you to get involved with your students and find out about their lives outside the classroom. The experiences of all your students are shaped by so much more than just their ethnicity or country of origin. They are affected by their neighborhoods, socio-economic status, family lives, generations living in the United States, and more, so I think if you approach them as complex individuals then you may be able to find ways to provide them with a welcoming learning environment.

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    • Hello Miss Tina,

      Like many of us, I do feel almost of sense of loss for not knowing as much Asian American history as I originally thought I would know at this stage. I think its awesome that you already taking steps to address the issues and wanting expand on the narrative on Asian American history and experiences for not just your students but for yourself as well. I think before we educate students on these sort of matters we must first, at the very least, be educated on the subject to form both a discussion and questions to present students in the class to engage. If we are not informed, we risk spreading incorrect information or appearing to our students as “uninterested” in the topic.

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  22. My name is Heather and I am a student at CSU Long Beach pursuing a teaching credential in Adapted Physical Education. This is my 3rd semester of class work and I will be starting my student teaching in Spring of 2022.

    As a special education teacher, making people feel accepted for who they are despite their differences is a high priority in my classroom. I intend to speak up and stop any racial slurs I hear while at school the moment I hear or see it and will explain why it is not okay by putting it into terms a student can understand. By changing the narrative and putting the shoe on the other foot, a student may begin to understand the gravity of their words or actions. I plan to practice culturally responsive pedagogy into my classroom by incorporating worldly games into the curriculum. This may range from playing games from other cultures or simply giving students some background context about the origins and traditions associated with popular US games. I hope by putting forth an effort, students of the minority culture will feel celebrated and included.

    I think teachers and school can begin by support students and build coalitions by educating students about Asian culture and important role they played in US history. I think through increased funding, schools will be able to start programs, clubs and educational trips to help all students feel included.

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  23. Hello everyone, my name is Colleen and I am currently in the teacher credential program at California State University, Long Beach for secondary school mathematics. At the end of this semester, I will be halfway through the program and am looking forward to student teaching in the near future. As a future math teacher and Asian-American, I believe the way I can challenge the dominant story of American history and expand the narrative is not shying away from discussion on current and recent events affecting our country.

    It’s interesting to think about how one would incorporate history and modern events into a mathematics classroom and in my mind, I see a conversation happening between the students and teacher at the beginning and/or end of class, as well as outside of the classroom as I plan to coach as well. I would want to acknowledge that as an Asian-American, the current events and the attitudes that encourage hate are intimidating and I am worried about my family and others that are being targeted. Part of this conversation would include connections to American history, that my students may not have been exposed to or aware of. As educators, we should strive to inform students, even if it’s not our main academic subject. History and current events affect us all, and educators should not turn a blind eye to them and how it influences everything around us. This is in consideration of the grade levels I will be teaching, as students of this age are more capable of understanding more nuanced conversation and are more likely to think about the topics on their own.
    Aside from learning about Japanese-Americans being forced into internment camps, the Chinese Exclusion Act, and the Vietnam war, I was not taught much else about Asian-American history. Much of the focus in schools were on what would be tested and from my memory, not much of that was about Asian-Americans. I remember religiously studying for my APUSH class, staying up late into the night, and going through several notebooks worth of essays and notes. However, this amounted to little I could relate to as a child of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants. The lack of Vietnamese voices in the section about the Vietnam war was obvious to me then and I’m sure my future students will feel the same. The culture in which my parents raised me encouraged me, as a daughter, to stay silent and keep the peace as much as possible and I know that my students may be encouraged to act in this way as well. However, it is not for our betterment that our voices are silenced and the same principle hold here. I believe starting and guiding a conversation on how Asian-Americans have been treated and are acknowledged in history is one of the most important things we can do as educators. Breaking down the term “Asian-American” as well is of high importance, as it has been used against us and if not understood, will lump a large amount of peoples together, unnecessarily and to our detriment.

    One way I can see teachers building up students is asking about their family history and incorporating that into the classroom. An example of this would be having students as their parents how they were taught mathematics and what importance it held for them. Math can be seen as a stoic subject, and almost callous in it’s own way, but as a math teacher, it’ll be my duty to show students otherwise.

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  24. Hi everyone, my name is Bella and I am in my second semester at CSULB receiving my Single Subject Art Teaching Credential. I studied Fine Arts with a Minor in Arts Education at UCLA and graduated from there in 2018.

    Thinking back to my K-12 experiences, I don’t remember learning a lot of Asian American history at all. I can recall learning about the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Japanese Internment camps during World War II but that is about it. I may have learned more in my World History class I took as a sophomore in high school but that was pretty focused on French history and medieval Europe.

    As an arts educator, there is a lot that I can do to challenge the dominant story of Asian American history and expand the narrative. Going to an arts high school and studying art in college, I worked alongside some of the most amazing artists and creatives who were of Asian descent. I would love to take a more grassroots approach instead of taking inspiration from the traditional white, hetero, cis “icons” of art history. Inviting some of my former Asian-American colleagues to share their artwork and creative processes with my students would be a good way to highlight and uplift voices that have long been silenced. Learning about other well-known contemporary Asian artists would also be a great way to bring a more diverse perspective and curriculum to my students. Education should prioritize a globalized perspective and let go of the problematic White standards we have held our curriculum to for the entirety of the institution’s existence.

    I think what we can do as non-Asian-Americans is constantly work to question and dismantle our own internalized racism. One of the first ways to begin this process would be to consider the language we use and the stereotypes we subconsciously believe in. We must not resort to what we have been taught by society. We have so much unlearning to do and the work is never complete. I hear the word “sensitivity” often being used with such a negative connotation. “People are so sensitive now. You can’t say anything anymore.” If being sensitive causes others to feel safer, valued and treated with equity and respect then where is the problem? We need to spend more time listening to others and stop resorting to “the way things used to be”.

    I think a way to build coalitions with students would be to create solidarity clubs at school. We can host workshops and invite speakers to give lectures on ending Asian-American hate. This club can take field trips to protests and conferences held for raising awareness and how to take action.

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    • Hi Isabella!, I also went to UCLA and graduated in 2018. I studied Art History :). I had a similar experience as you in the lack of education about Asian-American communities and history. The events you mentioned are examples of Asian American history in relation to White-American history. The Asian Americans are supporting actors in these histories while the White Americans have the lead role. Most communities of color are given this “supporting” role and are only recognized in how they assisted the “lead” or in many cases how they were defeated. This narrative is extremely harmful because it teaches students that BIPOCs are not as important as White people and that their histories will never be as valuable. In order to change this narrative teachers must work to include multiple perspectives and to maximize BIPOC narratives in the classroom.

      I like your idea about solidarity clubs at schools! I think these would be very empowering and fun ways for students to represent their communities.

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  25. Hello 🙂 I’m SpaceLance and am currently attending Cal State Long Beach. I got my bachelor’s in physics and am now about halfway through the single subject credentials program so I can become a high school physics teacher.
    A powerful way to be supportive of Asian American students in your classroom is to discuss individuals who had a notable impact in your field. After just a bit of research, I found that there was a just such an a page on Wikipedia for physics. While we do not want to use Wikipedia as a source of scientific rigor, it is an incredibly valuable in this case, as anyone could add critical individuals to this list and, if they are important enough, they will remain. For example, an experiment that kicked down the door on one of the fundamental assumptions of physics (parity symmetry) was done by Chien-Shiung Wu. Certainly an individual worthy of recognition in the classroom! There are of course many others like Steven Chu for laser cooling or Samuel Chao Chung for discovering the charm meson, J/psi, but you get the idea. If you wish to be inclusive and supportive of any particular race or background, it is critical to research and have examples of individuals in your field who made a difference.
    There is so much possibility space for the expansion of understanding on Asian American history and we can make our classrooms an essential center for this expansion. It is up to those of us dedicated to education to make sure our students know how critical Asian American history is to our history.

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  26. What’s up everyone, my name is William Hoover. I am currently attending CSULB and I got my undergraduate in history and am in my second semester of the Single-Subject Credential Program.

    I am half Filipino and thinking back on what I learned about Asian American history in our education system is that it was, in a way, skimmed through. Like the Japanese internment camps, America’s gaining of the Philippines, the Gold Rush, railroads, the Chinese Exclusion Act, WW II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, and some geography of Asia. Never anything too in depth. It would feel like a side note to the rest of what was going on during the periods that I was taught about.

    As a teacher, I hope to be able to expand the narrative by going into more depth into Asian American history. Going through our education system, it has always felt like Asian American history was a side note, briefly mentioning it as we go over a topic, like the Gold Rush or one of the many wars the US has fought in. I plan to bring in documents, stories, and journals of these people, to help students learn about and understand these people who are glossed over in our history education. When learning about WW II, I don’t recall ever learning about the 442nd Regiment. I hope to add them into the discussion when teaching along with other Asian Americans who served valiantly in the US military, like the Lee brothers in the Korean war. Or even going in depth on the importance of baseball in Japanese internment camps to help make them more relatable to students. There are so many untold stories that are merely glossed over in our education system that deserve to be told. The readings all talk about the lack of education and history pertaining to Asian Americans, and Asia as whole. I hope I am able to go more in depth on cultures, languages, and their histories when I become a teacher.

    The ways we can build coalitions with our students is through community cultural events. Have get togethers where students can learn about other people’s culture, language, religion, food, and various other things. It can help create an understanding. relatability, and bond with people we may not know past a surface level understanding.

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    • Hi William,

      Its always good to see someone from the Filipino community! But in regards to your post, I agree with you. Asian-Pacific history is incredibly underrepresented in American education. As a Filipino American growing up in both countries, there was always a sense of cultural confusion that I was struggling with at times. I didn’t know whether I was Asian or Pacific Islander, and at times teachers would joke about such a topic because they felt it was trivial and not that important of an issue. But for the people who are a part of those communities, it is an issue because it deals with their identities and how they are treated by others. Like you, I intend to spend time and make time to teach my future students culture and be more in depth with Asian-Pacific history topics. Taking time to show students the nuances of Asian-Pacific history and how rich and diverse such a tapestry really is. The incorporation of music and food into my curriculum is one that I have been debating and might put into practice when I become a teacher.

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    • Hi William,

      I am excited to hear how you are going to attach their lack of representation in your classroom. I like your idea of discussing the noteworthy baseball paying while in the camps/confinement. I can also relate to how you put, “glossing over” their history that is an experience I share. I wish it wasn’t like this, I believe we have to make schools relate in a way for students, and when half those students are not getting taught about or skimmed through it causes a lack of understanding on everyone’s part. As a student in high school, I wish I would have gotten the experience you are talking about teaching your students. I really think your connection to celebrating diverse food can be a pivotal learning exposure for students. I feel you are right, this kind of community culture event helps build understanding – and I think that is what we all need more of.

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  27. Hello everyone! My name is Adrian Martinez. I am currently a postgraduate student at Cal State Long Beach, where I am currently in my second semester to earn my single subject teaching credential in history. Unfortunately, the only thing I really remember learning about and the teacher heavily focusing on was the Chinese practice of foot-binding. We also learned about Japanese internment camps during WWII in high school but we weren’t taught much else regarding Asian Americans.

    I plan to teach history so, fortunately, there are many opportunities to share and talk about Asian American history. I also plan to address any stereotypes and make sure students understand why what they say is harmful. I will share primary sources from Asian Americans and their perspectives during these times. Too many times in history, we are focused on one side of the event and it’s usually in favor of European nations or from the colonists’ POV. When a student hears stories and experience from historical figures it could allow them to be proud of their history but also teach them things they may have not been aware of themselves and I think this is why it’s necessary to bring other cultures into the classroom.

    I am not Asian American but there is so much that can be done on my part inside my classroom to support Asian American students and educators. The first thing I need to do is educate myself on these topics so that way as an educator I am not blind against the problems affecting a minority that will be present in my classroom. Another thing I could do is open the floor to allow our AAPI students to speak out and share their personal experiences and have our class listen. Students are always given the chance to share how they feel about certain topics so it’s really important to provide a space where they know they can share and be honest. Another thing we need to do as teachers is not ignore Asian American history and incorporate it into our curriculum. Too many times Asian American history is simply glossed over or completely ignored, but we as educators can fix that and make sure we teach history based on facts. In the Reckoning with Anti-Asian Violence journal Allyson Tintango-Cubales states, “My second offering is to resist historical amnesia and to resist American myopia” (pp 389, 2021). I like how they used the terms historical amnesia and American myopia. Too many times is history in the US is white-washed and ignores many of the POC histories. As future and current educators, we need to fill the gap and make sure to teach our students about other histories and cultures too, not only European.
    For example, during May, Asian American and Pacific Islander month, we could actually focus on Asian American stories and cultures and allow Asian Americans to speak to the class. AAPI month is something I wasn’t aware of and it’s unfortunate because at the least we could use the month to share Asian American stories similar to black history month or hispanic history month.

    As educators we need to push laws and conversations similar to and push ethnic studies in schools. There are still many states against ethnic studies and if you are in one of those states, you should be pushing an agenda to incorporate them into the curriculum. I think it is best stated by Dr. Betina Hsieh in the blog post I am too tired to issue statements…. She states, “I am ever striving to amplify, to advocate, to walk alongside, to love, to humanize, to listen” (2021). We as educators are doing a disservice to all students if we continue to fail in teaching them about other backgrounds and cultures.

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  28. As a future social science educator, I hope to challenge the dominant story of Asian American history by including Asian American voices into the curriculum.

    Growing up I do not remember learning about Asian American culture or history other than Chinese New Year, Chinese immigration to help with the railroads, and the Exclusion Act of 1882. These events do not supply students with an understanding of how Asian Americans are part of the fabric of this country and does not show their value in American history. In these events, White Americans are perceived as the dominant culture that imposed rules and orders over Asian Americans and Asian Americans are there to simply assist. It is important to break this narrative by including accounts and histories that show Asian American contributions independent from white history. Through multiple accounts and histories from the perspective of Asian Americans students will also see how diverse the Asian American community is and how rich and long their history is.

    I hope to support my AAPI students and colleagues by continuously educating myself on current social issues, by learning about the history of anti-AAPI racism, and supporting organizations that help the community combat inequities. It is important that I acknowledge my own biases so that they do not influence my teaching practice and my engagement with the community.

    In order to build coalitions with students and my colleagues it is important that schools hire from communities of color so that students see themselves represented within their learning environment. Schools should acknowledge AAPI and other non-white religious and cultural days in their calendar so that it is not dominated by white culture. Students should be able to have a say in their curriculum and choose how to approach their learning in order to be inclusive and celebratory of each student as an individual. It is important for teachers to see each student as an individual and not as part of a collective so that internal biases does not dominate how they are treated.

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    • Hi Andrea,

      I think you said it perfectly how our current historical narrative is lacking and harmful in that “these events do not supply students with an understanding of how Asian Americans are part of the fabric of this country and does not show their value in American history.”

      As a future social science educator myself, presenting students with Asian and Asian American voices from history is crucial in connecting curriculum to an ever growing diverse student population and showing students the dynamic lives and cultures of Asians and Asian Americans. I also agree that as we continue to educate our students, we must also educate ourselves on the current social issues and be active in supporting anti-AAPI racism in the school and local community.

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    • Hello Andrea! We have had similar learning experiences in regards to Asian-American history and so have a majority of people posting here. It seems that we lost a chance to learn about many people’s histories from a non-white perspective but as a social science teacher, you have a great opportunity to change this for your students. By integrating Asian-American voices into your classroom and modeling culturally respective behavior, you would be taking steps to see students as individuals with their own cultures and identities and show students what behaviors you expect from them. A great idea you brought up was on students having a say in their curriculum. It’d be amazing if you were able to allow students to choose a from a selection of books to use throughout the year, given that you would verify and validate the books ahead of time. We have the opportunity as educators to show culturally respective and sustaining behavior to students and should strive to do so.

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    • Hi Andrea,
      I appreciate that you mention that you yourself would like to educate yourself on AAPI histories so that you can come from a place of authenticity in supporting your AAPI students and colleagues. It’s important to educate our students and it’s equally as important for us to educate ourselves on these societal and cultural issues that were neglected in so many of our k-12 educations. Including Asian American voices is a great idea as well. Sometimes, it’s best that students of differing cultural backgrounds are taught about themselves and their histories from the voices of their own people. There are certain topics in culture where we should not overstep and speak for other people, but rather let them speak for themselves so that their voices are heard directly.

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  29. Hey everyone, I am Ramiro Hernandez, and am currently attending California State University, Long Beach. I am working towards getting my single subject teaching credential and I received my bachelor’s degree in history last year. Looking back at the education I received during my time in K-12 has made me notice that I did not learn much about Asian American history. I do remember my elementary school teacher briefly covering that Chinese workers were used to build the railroad tracks between California and Utah. One final thing that I remember being taught during my time in high school was the placement of Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II. Even then I feel like my teacher did not go into detail about the hardships Japanese Americans faced in those times. It was not until I took a course on California history during my time as an undergraduate that I was able to learn more about the hardships that Asian Americans faced throughout their time here.

    I am currently planning on teaching 10th-grade U.S history once I complete the credential program. I believe this would provide me with a great opportunity to incorporate Asian American history into my curriculum. One thing that was covered in the blog post “I am too tired to issue statements…” that I plan on doing would be to cover the hard history of people of color. I will make sure that I put time aside throughout the school year to show my students what contributions Asian Americans and other minorities have done for the United States as well as explain what hardships they have gone through. Doing this will allow me to challenge the master narrative that has been put in place for many years. Another thing that I would do as a teacher would be to offer support to Asian American communities through the sponsoring of a school club or referring my students to support groups. Another thing that I could do would be to promote a respectful classroom environment where my students can feel safe. I would do this by not tolerating any hurtful or racist behavior to be allowed in my classroom. One final thing that I plan on doing to ensure that I am challenging the dominant story on Asian Americans is to look over my own thoughts and what I am teaching my students is not filled with any underlying biases.

    A way that I could build coalitions with my fellow teachers, students, and parents is by organizing community meetings where everyone is given the opportunity to present any concerns that they may have. This would help bring more awareness to everyone. In these community meetings, it could also be possible to organize ourselves to lobby for the district to have a more inclusive curriculum if one is not already in place.

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    • Hey Ramiro,

      I think that everyone who has gone through our K-12 education system can all agree and remember that Asian American history was only ever touched or glossed over. Even myself, I can only recall a few things that I have learned in elementary and high school, and sometimes I stop myself and realize that what I though I learned through K-12 was actually in college. I like your idea of community meetings. It gives a chance for everyone to talk about their concerns in a safe place, in which everyone can work together and fix problems or concerns that others may have.

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    • Hi Ramiro,

      Great post! I appreciate the ideas you have developed for helping not just your students, but the greater community as whole. Providing students in need with outlets such as after school programs is a great way to alleviate the stresses of the community and can be a great place to have students socialize in a safe environment and community build around their interests and understandings. Just like you, I intend to start programs such as these in my future school. And just like you, I feel it will be important and necessary to go into the gritty aspects of Asian-Pacific history with students. People of color have a story that needs to be told and understood by younger generations of Americans to help them understand themselves and their neighbors. We must tell these stories to teach empathy and to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

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  30. Hello,

    My name is Nadin and I am enrolled in the Single Subject Credential Program at California State University, Long Beach. I am two semesters away from student teaching and I am interested in teaching social science; more specifically, I would preferably like to find a job teaching Ethnic Studies.

    As mentioned in the prompt, “Asian-American,” like many other terms used to refer to individuals in American contexts, is a reductionist term that does not adequately represent the ethnic diversity of the continent of Asia. It does not include Southwest and South Asians who are also present in the United States and typically only refers to East Asians.

    Like others have noted, I remember learning about Asian American history throughout my K-12 schooling, but since history classes are often taught from a Eurocentric and Western perspective, we only really learn about Asian Americans in the context of their contributions to the American economy, not so much their experiences or culture. My history teacher in high school was a woman of color and I know she did a much better job than many other teachers in teaching the stories of people of color.

    As a non-Asian American, one of the first steps for me as a future Ethnic Studies educator would be to accurately show the stories of Asian Americans. Ideally, I would spend some time educating myself and reading books and scholarly articles written by Asian Americans and incorporate those teachings into my classroom. I will not only speak about the contributions of Asian Americans, but I will also speak about how they have been systematically excluded and marginalized. It is always helpful that, when we speak about other ethnic groups that we are not a part of, we amplify their efforts and amplify their voices, rather than speak over them so that is something I will also be keeping in mind.

    One way to build coalitions would be to host educational workshops and always be compiling resources, whether they are simply educational resources or calls to action.

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  31. Hello everyone,

    My name is Corey Schweig and I am in the single subject (history) credential program at Cal State Long Beach and will be student teaching this spring.

    To begin, I found the “Reckoning with Anti-Asian Violence: Racial Grief, Visionary Organizing, and Educational Responsibility” Dialogue incredible and will be referencing frequently throughout my comments, but first I want to talk about my own k-12 education. As i’m sure is the case with so many of us, I did not learn very much at all about Asian American history let alone Asian history in general. In world history classes, there are brief mentions of asian countries or empires, but when Asia or Asian people are mentioned there is something deeply problematic. We tend to only mention Asia or Asian countries in very specific ways: 1. As a contributor to the Western civilizations 2. As a “mysterious” land. 3. As an enemy in wars. This starts to paint a very sad and false narrative of Asian history and culture as well as lumping Asia together in this blanket approach.

    One of the ways to start to create meaningful change in education is from a policy standpoint, that being curriculum. We have to move away this eurocentric approach as it is rooted in exclusion and as Sung Yeon Choimorrow mentions “Our education system is based on a white supremacist framework.” Our education systems were built around serving white americans and remain this way. When talking about Asian American students returning to school from the pandemic, Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales mentions, “They don’t want to go back because it does not serve them well and their wellness.” This is a much larger and more difficult problem to tackle but we have to keep the momentum and lobby our policy makers for change. Aside from this large issue, there is still so much we as educators can do on a ground level in our schools.

    As a future history teacher, there are so many way I want to approach teaching history differently. One way is that we have to be critical of our history of this country. We need to be critical in a way that creates understanding instead of trying to place blame on white people (as I am often guilty of). What I mean by being critical in a way that creates understanding is that we have to truly understand the systemic racism and oppression that was intentionally done. This includes being extremely critical of how our country was founded through colonialism and imperialism and what effects that has had on groups like Asian Americans. We have a history of violence and stealing from so many other nations and it is still ongoing. This and topics such as Japanese internment camps and the treatment of chinese people during the gold rush is all related to the trauma aspect of teaching history and shows how terribly so many different Asian people and countries have been harmed by the United States. We do need to include so many of these sad histories in our classrooms, However trauma is not the only side we need to teach. As Leigh Patel states, “We benefit as a field when we understand ourselves in our strength and not just through trauma.”

    Sung Yeon Choimorrow said, “We need to address inclusion, and really seeing and humanizing Asian Americans. It is important to increase the integration, awareness, respect, and inclusion of Asian Americans in American society.” This includes CRP in the classroom by accessing students funds of knowledge and celebrating our student’s individual cultures in the classroom. It creates understanding between students and allows students to relate to and respect students from culture’s different from their own. This is something that should be done in all classrooms, but in the history classroom, there is so much more we need to do to accomplish what Sung Yeon Choimorrow is suggesting. We need to incorporate Asian American history into our U.S history classrooms in a positive way and humanizing way. We need to understand the history of Asian American as part of this country and as a meaningful part of our society. This includes topics like Yuri Kochiyama’s work with Malcom X in the civil rights movements, the building of our railroads by Chinese immigrants. We also need to talk about Asian countries as unique and not simply cover it all by saying Asians. Stephanie Chang made a great suggestion on how we can help enrich the history we teach in schools, “I feel like we need something where professors, educators, and people of color develop curriculum and work together to learn about Asian American history, Black history, Latino history, Arab American history. We don’t know each other’s histories as adults. I agree about teaching our kids, but as adults we have to learn it, too.”

    We have to continue to work together and learn from each other and places like this are a format in which we can continue this work. Thank you.

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  32. I am a Single Subject Credential student at CSU Long Beach, and I received my Bachelors in Music Education. I grew up in a small dairy town in California’s Central Valley, so (like many blue-collar areas) my hometown lacked diversity and upheld more conservative values. As a youth, I never questioned why racism and POC history were not discussed in schools because it was wide belief that “politics” (AKA human rights) did not belong in academia, and POC history was not a priority because we’re all American so, I guess, American History was all we needed to know. I grew up performing Johann Sebastian Bach, John Phillip Sousa, Ludwig van Beethoven… all the white males in Music history in all the Western European genres like Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, and Romantic. It was not until college that I realized there were entire worlds of Music that I didn’t know I didn’t know. Even in my student-musician years I understood that Hip Hop, RnB, Rap, and generally Black-inspired Music was seen as “inappropriate, tasteless, abnormal” among other disapproving adjectives, but I never thought to ask why.

    As a Music educator, I have more leniency than, perhaps, other subject fields because my occupation is reliant on the knowledge of Fine Arts and cultures. To create an engaging curriculum I have to select engaging repertoire and songs my students resonate with. I currently work in a district with a high Korean and Chinese demographic, and one thing I adopted this year was allowing students to create their own name tags to hang on their Music stands. While it may seem underwhelming, I found that this allowed students to present themselves in any way they wanted, combatted stereotyping based on perceived appearances or interests, and it allowed more students to express themselves in unique ways. One way teachers can support their Asian-American students is by learning what influences students have at home. In my circumstance, though I am not Korean-American nor Chinese-American, I can see what is important to my students based on their off-campus hobbies, what they feel comfortable discussing with me before and after class, and what they value as mini individuals. Another way to show alliance is by taking a lesson or two to let the students be teachers, to hold conversations about their heritages, and give insight into what they want to learn (or play) and why. This is one idea that I really like and would like to implement into my classroom towards the end of the year closer to concert season.

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  33. Hello fellow peers!! My name is Jovanie Sandoval, and I currently attend California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Hate is not a new concept, I’m sure if we had social media and an organized method of storing information in the year 100 B.C we would have some kind of record of hate and prejudice towards a specific demographic. Because of the rise of social media there has been an increase in groups fighting for injustice, but there has also been a rise in hate groups as well. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as the world prepared itself for the unknowns of combating the spread of the virus fake news spread and important figures in the media such as Donald Trump dubbed the virus, “the China Virus” thus leading ignorant people, people began to unjustly direct a lot of anger and hate towards all Asian people across the world. Katherine Oung from the NY Times video “How Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School” Katherine states that people she has known for three years, people she even considered friends turned on her and spewed Asian hate towards her. Katherine was not the only Asian American to share this experience and in addition, Asians who are not even Chinese began to be generalized as Chinese. Smaller country Asians have been ignored for years as non-Asians generalized Asian Americans to one ethicality which causes society to not only develop ugly but also lose out on engaging the distinct yet deeply connected histories in the Asian diaspora and in originating countries. Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that became the authority on gathering data on racially motivated attacks related to the pandemic, received 9,081 incident reports between March 19, 2020, and this June. Of those, 4,548 occurred last year, and 4,533 this year and as a future educator I believe I am responsible in bringing awareness to the many cultures than span throughout Asia, and bring awareness to STOP Asian American hate/stereotypes, especially those that are used in Mathematics, to help eliminate this negative statistic for good.

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    • Hi Jovanie, I really liked your observation of the role social medias plays in modern society and potential way it would have impacted past societies. I agree that hate and prejudice is not something that is up-and-coming, instead it is a concept that is engrained in every aspect of our American, Euro-centric society. Upon reading your ideas, I questioned whether social media has helped or hindered the fight against hate, or if that can even be determined. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

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      • Hi Morgan! Thanks for replying to my post! I think social media has played their hand in both the spread of support and hate in our lives. In my personal opinion I believe that social media has brought overall more SUPPORT to the cause rather than hate. By 2010 most big social media sites were already hitting their stride in popularity (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc…) and from 2010 to 2019 the FBI reports the number of hate crime incidents recorded by law enforcement increased by 10%, from 6,628 reported incidents to 7,314 incidents (3% of those being Asian related) but what is really interesting is that the overall number of crimes (both hate and non hate) had actually DECREASED 22% (All statistics provided by Bureau of Justice Statistics https://bjs.ojp.gov/library/publications/hate-crime-recorded-law-enforcement-2010-2019 ) I interpret this as people have begin to acknowledge the existence of prejudice motivated hate crimes more than before where these crimes were STILL happening, but just not being reported as hate crimes as they should have been. I believe the hate was always there amongst certain people in our society and social media has made it more prominent in our media intake, but social media has caused a movement of allies in fights that would not have been possible before the rise of social media. Social media is a double edged sword but i feel it has done more good than bad in our society in the fight against all hate.

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  34. Hi guys! My name is Sydney, currently, I am a student at Cal State University Long Beach. This is my first year in the Single Subject Credential Program. My goal is to be a high school Art teacher.

    So, as a future teacher how I might want to challenge the dominant story of Asian American history and expand the narrative will first be admitting I, myself, do not know much. It’s sad but true- in my schooling, I was not taught any part of Asian American history. As I will be a high school Fine Art teacher, something I can implement in my class to foster more diversity, awareness around Asian American history and gain students engagement is to challenge them to bring in an artist they follow on social media who identifies as Asian for the whole class to view their work. Another way I can implement Asian American history in my content area is by bringing art from Asian Americans I can also reach out to artists who I know to come and speak and or present their own artwork.
    I believe we can support educators, teacher candidates, and or students who identify as Asian American by cultivating a mindset that humanizes and validates Asian Americans. We must first acknowledge that everyone is human with feelings, coming from all different types of backgrounds. We must continuously consider basic needs. Supporting basic needs means encouraging everyone regardless of how they identify. We need to drive toward building up a community filled with allies and co-conspirators. Once, someone told me that they ‘didn’t see race’ -and although in theory, this might be a decent comment, it is far from. We need to see people as they are and not discriminate. We must see race; if we look past race, we devalue someone’s experiences, struggles, and triumphs. It is time to value every single person for who they are and, not what they are not.

    Teachers, schools, neighborhoods, and communities can build up alliances with Students in all sorts of ways. A nice way to do this could be done in a form of a club: Asian American History Club. This could be beneficial even having an open invitation where anyone could join. This club can discuss anything and everything about this culture, holidays, history, families that they have that represent that group. I think a good way teachers can build up this alliance is by communicating to other teachers within the district about incorporating some history or representation into their lessons or grabbing a book by an Asian American writer or bringing in art from an Asian American artist. A cool way I was exposed to news about Asian Americans was in a few of the links that we looked at before posting, I learned about a potential Japanese NFL player, Yoshihito Omi. There’s a bunch of news about entertainment, lifestyle, business, sports, and newsletters on NextShark Which I could incorporate into my class.

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  35. Hello, my name is Colbie, I am in the single subject program at CSULB for social science and I am in my last semester before student teaching!

    As a future social science teacher, I think it’s critical that history classes challenge the dominant story of Asian American history. Reflecting on my own education, there was very little deviation from a white dominant history and what little lessons did cover Asian American history was relegated to that of anti-immigration sentiments. Socially, my educational experiences pushed the model minority narrative and the idea that Asian American students were homogenous. These experiences place Asian Americans in a limited lens with no understanding of the complexity and diversity among Asian communities. Challenging these harmful narratives is the first step in changing the conversation and expanding the narrative within the classroom curriculum is one way of doing this.

    Students need to be exposed to the complexities of Asian communities and cultures and history class is a great place to do that. In my future classroom I plan on exposing students to individual narratives that reflect the diversity and similarities within the Asian American community. Furthermore, students need to understand how anti-Asian and Asian American sentiments have existed historically and today. Students must understand how the actions and events of today are connected historically and vice versa.

    I also believe that social science classes prepare students to enter a civic community and therefore must teach students how to be engaged with their community locally and nationally. Starting by building a strong, supportive and respectful classroom community, students can model their classroom community building with real world community building and engage with their local communities. Getting out and visiting local community events can help expose students to different cultures and begin building supportive communities.

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    • Hi Colbie, coming from a small farm town myself I completely agree with you: there are not enough educational discussions about the hatred faced by Asian-Americans in history. Because I come from a very blue collar, not very diverse region the community consensus was that students only needed to learn American History because we’re all Americans. However, I don’t ever remember taking a class period to discuss in-depth the biases in America’s past, or even California’s past even, only the heroic stuff. Your statement “Asian American students were homogenous…” reminded me of a restaurant I frequented in my hometown. To this day I am not sure whether it was a Chinese or Japanese influenced business because it sold foods from both cultures. Perhaps the owners wanted to bring some diversity, but I believe this was primarily done because many people in the community did not bother to recognize that Japanese and Chinese cuisines are vastly different and the restaurant wanted twice the revenue. So the restaurant sold both, and not very authentic at that. I think this goes to show just how little acknowledgement some give to cultures other than their own, I think most people would agree that we sometimes only bother to recognize what impacts us and not what impacts others. In this instance, I only bothered to observe the menu from that restaurant, but I did not take the time to question the ethics behind it all and its impact on Japanese and Chinese individuals.

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  36. Hi Everyone, my name is J.S. and I am in the Single Subject Credential Program at CSULB. I have a B.S. in Math Education and I am student teaching next semester.

    As a future math teacher, I think that it is important for all students, regardless of where you’re from or what you look like, to treat each other as equals. It baffles me when we look at today’s society and there are tons of people on all points of the political spectrum that do not go by this notion. Looking back on my education from K-12, not only did I study history that I look at now and see was inaccurate and biased, but I didn’t even learn much of it. Sure, I remember learning about the different dynasties of ancient China, but that is pretty much it. I think the most recent thing about Asian history that I remember learning was a slightly mentioned detail about Asian slaves during the goldrush and building the railroad. I don’t think we are teaching a true and full history. We are looking at history through a very limited lens.

    I feel like we need to start teaching history the right way starting at young ages. That doesn’t mean rewriting history; it just means elaborating on history to give the full, unbiased, story. I understand that sometimes there are disagreements about our history, and that’s okay. History is about having a dialogue and understanding a people from what we know about our past and what new things we find about them. History never changes, but it is always expanding. Our knowledge about the past is ever expanding as time goes on, and for that reason, books should too.

    In my classroom, I think I will do a service to Asian history by teaching students the history of what they learn and show them how different people and cultures through history contributed to what they learn in my class. In a way, I will treat it like a history of math along with the lesson because the more you know about math, the more fun and educational it will be. Showing students how people in older Asian countries created math from little amounts of knowledge will give them a greater appreciation for it. I don’t think we do enough today to show students about Asian contributions to mathematics.

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  37. Hello! My name is Brandon and I am currently in the first semester of the credential program at CSULB, planning to student teach next semester.

    Being an Asian American myself, I resonated deeply with many of the readings presented and share the same frustrations and sadness with these current issues. Even as an Asian American, I didn’t begin to learn about the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) history until my undergrad, where I had the opportunity to take two AAPI studies courses. These classes I took in my undergrad are the beginnings of how I hope to challenge the misconceptions surrounding the AAPI narrative. Through these classes I was able to become educated on the side of history my K-12 education failed to acknowledge. Knowing about some of the major legislative and social injustices that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders faced throughout American history and how that influenced the current view of Asian American and Pacific Islanders today helps me deconstruct some of the major biases that create this “dominant story of Asian American history”, understand where these biases come from, and how I can educate my students to support unlearning of these biases.

    I’m pursuing music education and I believe the connection between music and culture is strong and can provide useful insight into intersectionalities. The interaction of cultures that can occur in music is a great vehicle for educating students on the pluralities of culture and how no one view on a particular culture could possibly encompass each individual. For instance, there is a rich hip hop and dj culture associated with Filipinos that stemmed from the bay area in the 80s (Spintronix). Knowing about how multiple cultures interact with all forms and genres of music has led me to the conclusion that “world music” is simply a means to “other” music that comes from anywhere other than Western Europe. The ties between history, music, and culture are a large part of what I intend to explore with my future students as we learn about the many facets of culture (both in terms of ethnicity and community) and through that, deconstruct biases and dismantle the “othering” that is unfortunately implied through our current educational systems.

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  38. Hi my name is Robert, I am in the single subject science program at CSULB, and this is my last semester before I start student teaching.

    As a science teacher, biology in specific, I really had to question where I could introduce and how important Asian American history is for my field. As I was thinking, I thought back to my schooling days and realized that I had never really learned about Asian Americans myself. Of course we learned about Japanese internment camps, and touched upon few other events throughout history, but we never actually learned about them. We learned of Asian American impact, but it always felt invalidated. I say invalidated because we only ever learned of the events, not of the perspectives or intimate details from the side of Asian Americans. For example, In World War II, we learn about how the soldiers on the front lines felt, and what their struggles and daily lives were like. We read memoirs, analyzed photos and anecdotes from people that served in the war and wrote letters from the perspective of the soldiers. When it came to Japanese internment camps, we learned comparatively little. We learned what they were and why they happened, but never explored how it made Japanese-Americans feel alienated, or what their daily lives were like. We did not learn about the social implications it created and all of the struggles all Asian Americans felt as they were stereotyped and generalized to be Japanese. We never learned about the repercussions after the war or read memoirs from survivors of the camps. This is what I am talking about when I say that the history of Asian Americans is very invalidated in American history books.

    Looking back at that, and after reading the blog posts and articles above, I really wanted to find a way to bring representation and a positive narrative of Asian American history for my subject. I researched all of the Asian biologists who contributed to major discoveries that received very little credit such as Min Chueh Chang who worked on in vitro fertilization and helped create the birth control pill. I want to, as a teacher, provide credit and bring awareness to the minorities who were overshadowed in my field, and share about the work they contributed.

    I, however, am not Asian American and cannot begin to pretend to understand the issues and indignation they have felt in society for decades. I can, however, work towards social equity with and for them as a supporter of Asian American rights as a private citizen and as a teacher. Reducing the stigmas and stereotypes of Asian Americans in my classroom and trying to promote equality and respect is something within in my power. Instead of stomping out the misconceptions I can work towards reworking their understanding towards a more positive standpoint through respectful discussions. I may not be able to understand the issues that Asian Americans face every day, but I can work towards helping to end them.

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  39. Hi everyone, my name is Isabel and I am in the social-science credential program at CSULB. I graduated from CSULB in 2019 with my bachelor’s in Chicano and Latino Studies and decided to pursue a history credential with hopes of becoming both a U.S. History and ethnic studies educator in a public high school located in a working-class neighborhood. I will be student teaching during the Fall 2022 semester which I am both excited and nervous about.

    When I look back at my k-12 education, I do not remember learning much about Asian-American history. In my 11th-grade U.S. history class, internment camps Japanese-Americans were forced to relocate to during WWII were briefly mentioned; however, it was not much of a discussion since the course was taught through a Eurocentric perspective. Although the schools I attended were predominately Latinx, the model minority myth was pushed by teachers and students.

    It is important that as a non-Asian-American future educator, I expand the narrative inside and outside my classroom. I can support my Asian-American students by including their histories, cultures, backgrounds in the curriculum. In my 11th-grade U.S. history classroom, we can include more primary sources from Japanese-Americans during WWII and emphasize the tragedies that occurred in Japan as well. Also, in order to support my students and colleagues, I can challenge the model minority myth that groups all Asian-Americans together, creating one single narrative that is untrue. The anti-Asian sentiments and hate crimes committed against Asian-Americans in the U.S. alone are not new. Racist policies targeting Asian-Americans can be dated back to the 1800s where Chinese immigrants were murdered and discriminated against. Because I grew up in Long Beach, CA and attended schools in the city, it is important to create opportunities and provide resources to Cambodian-American youth for multiple reasons. The east side part of Long Beach is home to the largest Cambodian population outside of Cambodia. As a result of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodians were forced to escape their country and seek refuge in Southern California. The adults developed PTSD and their trauma has been passed down through generations and has resulted in higher poverty rates and push out rates in high school. It is important to build a positive community in order to create a safe academic environment for all Asian-American students and adults.

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    • Hi Isabel,
      I to studied Chican/Latinx studies in my under grad. I think our background in ethnic studies taught us the skill set to research and teach about Asian American history. I too am in the Social Science single subject credential program and also want to teach both U.S. history and ethnic studies. As you mentioned during my K-12 education I learned almost nothing about Asian American history. The only parts I remembered learning were the immigration restrictions they historically experienced.
      By teaching the various Asian history I will also challenge the model minority myth and the Asian monolith narrative.
      Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed reading your post.

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  40. Hello everyone, my name is Gustavo or Gus for short. I am currently attending the Single Subject Credential Program at CSULB and I plan on student teaching next semester. I also graduated from CSULB last year and have a degree in physical education.

    Honestly, when it comes to Asian American history, I never really learned much about the culture. The most I learned in school was in my 9th grade English class. We were assigned a book about a Chinese family who moved to the United States to help build the transcontinental railroad. The book discussed the families upbringing from when the family first moved to the U.S. and their struggles and how their children’s upbringing changed them. It was an interesting book but I don’t remember much about it including the name. Other than that, in history we briefly touched upon the internment camps that Japanese citizens were forced to live in during WWII.

    In physical education, we have the opportunity to teach in a variety of ways. During the dance unit, dances from different cultures are introduced to the students with a background of where and when the dance was created, its significance to the culture, and its tradition. This gives students who are not part of the culture an opportunity to learn the beliefs and customs of others. Also, acknowledging the cultures holidays is very important in showing students who are of Asian descent that I am aware of their traditions. For example, most students will believe that New Year starts on January 1st and so they may be a bit confused as to why students of Chinese descent would celebrate it in February. This is a great opportunity to inform students of the cultures background and story.

    For those of us who are not Asian American: What might educators, teacher candidates, and/or students do to support Asian American students and colleagues?
    What I feel that we can do to support our Asian American students and colleagues is to assist them and attend any events that might allow us to get involved in their culture. What I mean by this is to show up to events, meet and greets, and learn about the culture. Asking them the meaning of a particular holiday is a great way to show that you are putting effort into getting to know them. For students, I feel that it is especially important because it gives them the opportunity to share about a topic that they truly believe in. They are very knowledgeable and sincere when it comes to speaking about their culture. This is something that we as teachers should always encourage in our students.

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  41. My name is Michelle Ramirez and I am currently in first semester in CSULB’s social studies single subject credential program.

    I did not learn about Asian American history until I got to college. I took an ethnic studies history class and we read A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki. In there he not only challenged the master narrative of how Eurocentric American history was but he wrote about the different experiences that composed U.S. history. Instead of failing to teach my students about Asian American history I will look for passages that are written in accessible to language to teach them.

    As a future middle school or high school history student I predict it will not be to hard to incorporate Asian American history in my classes. This is largely based on the fact that Asian American history is American history. I can expand the narrative by committing to incorporating the different ethnic narratives that compose United States history. I will teach students about the multifaceted history of Asian Americans and not only focus on the negative such as the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Throughout my curriculum I will also make an effort to talk about xenophobia and racism Asian Americans have historically experienced and how they continue to. Teaching them about discrimination Asian American students experience could potentially make the students choose not to perpetuate that negativity. As support to my Asian American colleagues or students I would first listen to any concerns they might have and check in on them. Checking in on them while they are being scrutinized and targeted by hate such as how they have been during the pandemic. As mentioned in the I am too tired to issue statements “Solidarity work requires us to amplify the need for attention for one another.”, in other words as a non Asian American I can actively learn about the discourse on how to be allies to the community by listening and amplifying their voices. To build community in any space we must first center the voices of the affected group. For example as an educator I can voice my support to my Asian American students and remind them that I am their to support them and determined to create a safe environment for them.

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    • Thank you for sharing and I fully back you up on the statement that every group needs to be heard and represented when we want to create a safe space. As future educators, we need to promote a safe learning environment where all students are cared for, regardless of race, culture, identity, etc. Not only are we creating a safe space for our students to be themselves, we are also relaying the same message to their families. We reassure their families that their children and their culture is being recognized in a safe learning environment. Lastly, instead of just reading about different Asian American historical events, my history teachers also assigned us narratives and texts from Asian American authors describing their own personal experience. I believe that, when we use this to our advantage, this allows our students to learn from multiple perspectives rather than just through the textbook version.

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  42. Hi everyone! My name is Todd, and I am a teacher candidate at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. My area of study is secondary English, and I’m excited to contribute to this dialogue. Like many in my field, I am a white man of European descent. The area in which I grew up was predominantly white, as have my places of employment to date. Joining the ranks of a predominantly white field has has me wondering what exactly I can do to advance and highlight more diverse voices in the classroom. How can we, as educators, give voice to those who have not had the agency to do so in the past?

    My most recent class was a graduate English seminar, and I was thinking that we were just going to read something familiar to me (read: Eurocentric). To my surprise and delight, the seminar was based on the works of Salman Rushdie and his short stories to learn about literary criticism, as well as a seminar paper on Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. As a part of diving into literary criticism, we were exposed to the concept of Edward Said’s Orientalism, which shows the danger of classifying Asian countries in relation to their position to Western/European nations. Asian countries are seen as “the other,” and are therefore mysterious and dangerous in relation to the pure and noble European countries. This idea of Oriental mysticism has been present in many of my childhood favorite books, movies, and tv shows. Once I learned about Said and his writing, the glass broke. I now saw just how incredibly dangerous these stereotypes and portrayals are. Honoring and giving voice to Asian American culture and history within the classroom is essential to creating a well-rounded, diverse, and inclusive classroom. Learning of the dangers of harmful portrayals at an earlier age would have made me a better global citizen, and I hope to both shed light on this, as well as celebrate diverse cultures in the classroom.

    As teachers, we can also highlight experiences for our students that honor different cultures. Affinity groups and student clubs can bring together students from all cultures to address local and world issues, and to bring meaning to their heritage. These coalitions will make specific groups stronger, but can also help buffer support from those students and staff that want to uplift and amplify their voices. It may take some time to get there, but going into teaching with the mindset of support, inclusivity, and change will give my students a leg up that I did not have when I was in school. Taking the time to honor these cultures outside of representative months, or only when tragedy strikes will help students understand that we all have value and are truly global citizens.

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    • Hi Todd, I’m a single subject credential student in art at the California State University, Long Beach.
      I really like the idea of highlighting the experiences of our students in the class. This is a great way for student to feel include in the class. Students cultures should be represented and students should be able to bring their knowledge to the class and be able to explain to their peers about their culture and their traditions. I think next to their culture their issues and concerns should also be addressed. Students should know about the current even news and be able to have open discussions in the classroom.

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    • Hi Todd, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences on multicultural education. It seems like you have a good grasp on who you are and where you’re coming. You understand your disposition as a white male in a predominantly white profession. I’m glad you are thinking about how you can improve and innovate as a future educator. Said’s writing really broke the wall for you and opened a new perspective on Asian countries. I believe that we live in a world now where we shouldn’t try to separate each other into groups or consider ourselves “the other.” The students in your class that are coming from varying cultures will appreciate how you approach dangerous stereotypes. A fair and supportive learning environment is key to having an inclusive classroom

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    • Hi Todd. As a future history teacher, I enjoyed reading your perspective on how you will incorporate these stories in an English class. In a way, I think literature plays an important role as we should always be diversifying the books and literature that we are reading. The classroom is a great place to start. I also think it’s important to honor cultures outside of respective months, so I am glad you brought that up. One thing I would add is that BIPOC have always had agency. Many people resisted and fought for their voices to be heard – we have just been forced, systemically, into a subordinate position by those in power.

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    • Hi Todd, I am in the single-subject credential program at CSULB.
      I love the idea of student-led clubs that are backed and supported by educators and school staff. I also believe they would be beneficial to their lives and their communities as it grants them a safe space to discuss culture and racial issues targeting them. Taking interest in their culture, background, childhood, etc. year-round instead on special days or tragedies can show our Asian-American students that we care and support them inside and outside the classroom.

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  43. Hey everyone! My name is Bishoy and I completed my undergraduate degree at California State University, Long Beach with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I am currently in the single subject teaching credential program at CSULB to teach high school Biology; I will be doing my student teaching semester this Spring, and hopefully, I will pass my TPA’s and get credentialed by summer.

    Looking back at my education path, especially in secondary school, I did not learn much about Asian American history, neither did I learn the Asian American perspective of U.S. history. This is a really disappointing reality because the Asian American community has made a great impact on all fields of society in the United States from education to politics to science. It’s truly a shame that the Asian American community does not get its due credit in history for its great influence and impact on society.

    As a high school Biology educator, I will try to give the Asian American community its due credit for the impact it had on the scientific field. This will require me to do my own research to expand my wealth of knowledge from that perspective. A simple Google search about the impact of the Asian American community on the different scientific fields has really opened my mind to the number of discoveries and findings, that we use on a regular basis, that were established by individuals of Asian descent. In my Biology classroom, I will be discussing and showing my student’s research articles and findings done by Asian and Asian American individuals and actually having these pieces be an integral part of the curriculum rather than simply showing one or two to check a box.

    As an individual who is not Asian American, I believe that the best way for educators to support Asian American students and colleagues is to incorporate the Asian American perspective, not just the findings, into the curriculum. Sadly, when districts or bigger organizations try to do this, they have the teachers mention the Asian American community and culture once or twice to check a box for doing so, which does not make much of an impact. I believe that teachers should implement the Asian American perspective as an integral part of the curriculum to send a message to the Asian American students that their voices are heard and valued, and their cultures are important and respected.

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  44. Hi! My name is Jenna Williams and I go to school at CSU Long Beach. I am in my final semester of the English single subject credential program before I start student teaching. In my K-12 education experience, it was a rare occurrence that we would learn about an form of Asian American history. The most time was spent on learning what internment camps were. However, even then we only spent a day on it and moved on to something else. As a teacher, I would challenge the dominant story of Asian American history by actually including it. Unfortunately even though that is very obviously the bare minimum, it still isn’t being done by everyone. Teachers need to include the stories and experiences of Asian Americans so to not erase it from our history. We have to give voices to everyone so that our students know that they are not replaceable/forgettable. It is so important to not have a single unit on a culture (that as we all know gets cut if there isn’t enough time) so that our students know their backgrounds and identity mean something other than a tentative lesson plan. In my ELA class, I would include texts from different writers that are not white straight men. Again, this seems like the bare minimum but it makes a huge difference in comparison to other classrooms. The biggest thing though is to not generalize one students experiences to be perfectly wrapped up into Asian American history. We have to listen and get to know our students and find materials that actually connect with their background and identity so that they are able to see themselves in the work they are interacting with. As a white straight person, I understand that there are things that I cannot connect to that my students experience. That is why it is so important for me to bring in community members and leaders that can better connect and guide my students who see themselves in them.

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    • Hi Jenna,
      Similar to your experience, In my k-12 educational experience, I did not get much perspective or knowledge in regard to Asian American history, which is a real disappointment. The Asian American community has made a great impact in all facets of society, and it’s a real shame they do not get their due credit. A great start to giving them their due credit, but definitely not enough, is to bring the works and perspectives of the Asian American community in our classrooms. and you’ll be doing that in your ELA classroom. When we bring these materials into the classroom, we should integrate them as a part of the curriculum and not for mere representation and that would be the next step. Great job on your input and response.

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    • Hi Jenna,
      I am also in the credential program at CSULB! When I also look back at my k-12 experience, I did not learn much about Asian-Americans and it depicted this false narrative that Asians and Asian-Americans did not experience racism or any form of discrimination in this country. Although you mentioned that including their stories and perspectives inside the classroom is the bare minimum we can do as educators, I would also argue that it is extremely important and crucial to do! Including texts written by Asian-Americans or discussing issues experienced by Asian-Americans allows their voices and experiences to be heard in the academic setting and beyond. As you mentioned, the lack of Asian-American history we have received has erased them from this nation’s narrative which is both racist and problematic.

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  45. Greetings everyone! I go by Em and I am currently a student enrolled in the Single Subject Credential Program at CSU Long Beach. I have goals set to begin Student Teaching during Fall ‘22.

    Growing up in Westminster and Garden Grove for the majority of my life, I was in the heart of Little Saigon. Here, the people around me all spoke the same language and shared the same culture; in school, the majority of my classmates were Vietnamese Americans. With that being said, I do remember oftentimes celebrating my culture in school, however, many of the things that I have learned about my people and Vietnam were from my parents and family; not from school. It wasn’t until college where I began to really learn about the Asian American experience in an actual school setting.

    To begin with, I recognize that “Asian-American” is an umbrella term that encapsulates a plethora of Asian cultures from all around the world. This is important to note because, as a future ELA teacher, I want my students to understand that there is so much more to “Asian-American.” There are people like me, a Vietnamese-American, or my friend who is Japanese-American. When we show our students that there are different cultures and ethnic groups under the umbrella term, we also begin to unpack the history of each and every cultural group. As a future ELA teacher, using text written by Asian-American writers will be a great advantage for me to introduce and expose my students to these different cultures. There is so much that I can teach them about the struggles and overcomings of these groups but to hear it from someone within that group is powerful.

    One way that schools can support their Asian American students is through celebrating their culture. For example, Lunar New Year is a very important holiday for many Asian countries and, when schools recognize this holiday, it shows solidarity and respect for their students as well as their families. During the following days leading up to the holiday, schools may encourage their students to dress in their traditional attire as well as providing information about the holiday for staff and students who are not aware or do not celebrate the holiday.

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    • Hello Em,

      My name is Larissa and I am in an ELA teaching program in Framingham, Massachusetts. I really enjoyed reading your comment, and thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I appreciate your candor when recognizing and discussing the use of “Asian-American” as an umbrella term. I will be sure to make note of that distinction with my future students as well. Like you, I think our best course of action is to include written texts of all kinds (poetry, verse, novels, short stories, etc.) to expose our students to many different cultural groups. I also like the idea of linking readings to cultural celebrations like the Lunar New Year. That could be a very cool unit plan topic!

      Best regards,
      Larissa

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  46. Hello! I am a second-semester Teaching Credential Program student at California State University, Long Beach. My goal is to earn my Single Subject Credential in English and to teach at the high school level. Thanks to a phenomenal teacher, I was exposed to what I now understand to be a null curriculum about Asian American history. This teacher was passionate about teaching beyond our dominant/white culture centered textbook and she brought in excerpts from books authored by Asian Americans, newspaper articles discussing Asian Americans, examples of art from many Asian countries, and she highlighted both the many contributions to society by Asian Americans, but also the injustices they have endured such as the Japanese internment during WWII. Despite this rich learning experience, I acknowledge that not being Asian American myself, leaves me with a deficit in knowledge about Asian American history that I know I need to actively change. As a teacher in my future classroom, I want to follow in my own former teacher’s example by bringing Asian American voices into my classroom – that includes the voices of my Asian American students as well as Asian American authors. My classroom will not center on the dominant canon of texts that exclude Asian American voices and experiences. Instead, I want to assign texts and activities that include and celebrate Asian Americans so that my Asian American students can identify with them and for my non-Asian American students to learn from them. I want to create a community of care in my classroom where every individual is valued and celebrated and this, of course, includes Asian Americans. The resources featured in Liz Kleinrock’s article are extremely helpful and a great starting point to do this work in my classroom. I also think that before I can do this work, I need to educate myself more about Asian American history and ask questions about how I, as a non-Asian American, can be supportive and inclusive in the teaching I do in my classroom.

    This leads me to answer the next prompt, I am eager to learn about ways I can support and stand in solidarity with my Asian American students and colleagues. I invite my colleagues to respond to my post and give me their thoughts on how I can do this and what additional resources they can share with me as I continue my learning and growing process. There are many ways that teachers can build coalitions with their students. Creating clubs that explore and celebrate Asian Americans is a wonderful way to expose the greater student body to the stories and contributions that Asian Americans make in our society. I think that by encouraging Asian Americans and non-Asian American students to join, we could start creating a dialogue of learning and teaching that will be beneficial for all students. Speaking in my role now, as a pre-service teacher, I think that participating in Asian American cultural events is one way to start building community coalitions that I can engage in now. In Southern California, we have many, many such events and opportunities to participate in a celebration of Asian American culture.

    A theme I saw throughout the recommended readings above is the need to bring education to the forefront as a powerful way to combat the historical and current violence against the Asian American community. It is my sincere belief that if we create spaces in our classrooms where diversity, equity, and inclusion are the ethos of our teaching practices we can make great strides towards not only educating the next generation in being more just, humane, and accepting but creating a generation that values the unique contributions of all groups. I would like to close my post by acknowledging that I have an open heart and mind and am eager to learn more about how I can engage in supporting Asian American students in my classroom. I look forward to hearing from you and please, share any resources or feedback on where I can learn more! Thank you for reading!

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    • Hi there! Thank you so much for the thoughtful and insightful post. I’m so glad to hear that you had a teacher and role-model who honored and celebrated Asian American culture and heritage, as well as amplifying diverse voices in the classroom. That foundation would certainly seem to give you a leg up on most of your counterparts in regards to doing the same in your own classroom. Your community of care will certainly be a touchstone for all students. Asian American students will feel the warmth of their heritage being honored, and students of other backgrounds will also take note. A diverse learning community offers so much to society. Once the groundwork has been done, as your teacher showed, it can be implemented seamlessly in the classroom. It’s a “low-risk/high-reward” proposition that advances voices that may not have had that opportunity previously.

      In regards to support and solidarity, we see most companies and entities only focusing on this in times of crisis. Even then, most of the time it is just words and very little action. The steps and actions we can take in our own classrooms and schools to highlight diverse voices, creating and fostering dialogue, and enhancing a community of care will pay untold dividends. We can be proactive rather than reactive, and that is an important distinction. The dialogue of learning via clubs or affinity groups can go a long way to creating the atmosphere of acceptance and celebration. I often worry about my own capacity to do this, but you boiled it down to the most important essential piece: creating a generation that values the unique contributions of all groups. Each generation can and should improve on the one before it. We, as educators, can help this process by giving these opportunities to our students. The foundation that you have has put you on a wonderful path, and I look forward to doing much of the same work in my own classroom! Thank you so much for sharing, and good luck!

      – Todd

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  47. How, as a teacher, might you challenge the dominant story of Asian American history and expand the narrative? (Consider your content area, grade level, and your current/future students in your response). How will you (or do you) teach or connect with Asian American Studies in your classroom?

    Hi Everyone,

    My name is Elisa and I am at California State University of Long Beach. I am currently pursuing my single subject credential in chemistry to teach at a high school level. I am almost done with the program and will begin student teaching in January.

    Thinking back through my K-12 education about Asian American history, there are only a handful of events I learned. These events were the increase of Chinese immigration to build the transcontinental railroad, the Chinese exclusion act, and the Japanese internment camps. I remember having an AP U.S. history teacher tell us that much of the history we learned previously was not the complete picture and was whitewashed. Since he was catering our knowledge to the AP Test, he felt like he didn’t have adequate time to go into chance to go into detail and would only gloss over them. Elizabeth Kleinrock in “After Atlanta: Teaching About Asian American Identity and History” mentions questioning her students about their knowledge about Asian American HIstory and any historical figures; Many of her 6th-grade students had very little knowledge about this history. The events I learned about were only through AP U.S. History which was when I was in high school. In 6th grade, I had no knowledge of this history.

    As a non-Asian American educator, it is important that I stand next to my Asian American colleagues and support ideas to provide a well-rounded Asian American history of their achievements and struggles in society to the students. In my high school chemistry class, I can include how Asian Americans have influenced science and engineering. I can prepare for these lessons by researching and talking to my colleagues and becoming aware of misconceptions I’ve had. As the student population is becoming more diverse, we need to represent them in their education

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  48. Hello, I’m Tina. I’m a Single Subject Credential Student in Art, at California State University, Long Beach. The way I would connect with the Asian American studies in my class would be having open dissuasions about the current events that is happing and the hate crimes that are happening against Asian Americans. After reading the article “After Atlanta: Teaching About Asian American Identity and History” I understand the importance of discussion current issues in the class. Students should be aware of the important events that is happening in their country and community. It is important to have these discussions because some students might be experiencing these challenges and they can express themselves and it will also inform other students that might not be aware of the tragic events. Having open discussions in class will ensure the students to be more aware of each other’s concerns and worries. The other way to include the Asian Americans in my art class would be introducing Asian artist to the class. The art class should include artists from different parts of the world, and it should specially include Asian artists. Growing up in art classes I remember only seeing examples that were very Western and Eurocentric. As a future art educator, I want to move away from that and be able to bring students culture to the class. Students should know artists from Asia and should learn about their work and techniques they have used in making art as it is unique and specific.

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    • Hi Tina,
      Bringing the works and perspectives of the Asian American community into our classrooms is a great first step to give the Asian American community their due credit for the impact it has on all aspects of society. I really like the strategy you brought up of having open discussions about current issues and events in the classroom in order to create a safe environment for the students to express their ideas and opinions. It is also great because the students would be aware that you, as their educator, care about them and who they are; this will hopefully lead to a better and more welcoming class community, in which, everyone’s voice is heard and respected. Great job on your input and response.

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  49. Hello everyone, my name is Sherry. I completed my undergrad at California State University, Fullerton. After completing my Bachelor’s Degree, I enrolled in California State University, Long Beach’sBeach’s credential program to achieve my teaching credential in Physical Education. It has been an incredible journey thus far learning about the different ways an educator can help their students achieve success in both the classroom and their society. If all goes well (and there isn’t another quarantine), I plan to student teach in the Fall of 2022.

    In middle school, I remember learning little games to play with my friends. Several of these games were racist and stereotypical, but no one said anything, and we thought they were “normal” to play. For example, “I Went To The Chinese Restaurant” was a hand game children would play. Supervisors, Teachers, and Administrators would walk around campus and see us playing it, and not once would tell us to stop playing. Instead, they encouraged us to play it. Some even played with us. The players would squint their eyes or even hold the skin at the end of both eyes to mimic a squinting look. Even though the kids thought they were playing a game, and it didn’t seem offensive to the Asian race, they were, and no one stopped them.

    As a physical educator in an Elementary school, students will play hand games while waiting in line for their class to go in or with friends during lunch. If students are playing a game that appears racist or stereotypical in any way, I will intervene, unlike my teachers when I was in Elementary. It is essential to teach our students what racism is and how everyone should not participate in it. It hurts for me to say that I was racist without knowing I was doing it. The same goes for my future students. Maybe they do not necessarily know their actions are hurting others, and perhaps they believe what they are saying is normal. A lot of this has to do with the way students’ were raised.

    To be honest, I do not remember learning too much about Asian American History. I remember learning about the conflict between the Japanese and Americans during World War 2. As educators, our teaching does not need to be limited to our content area, but rather include our society, and our students’ history. After reading and watching the videos in this blog, it is terrible how Asian Americans are being disregarded by society. They are not seen as normal people. Instead, they are outcasted by many. The stereotypes in their names do not define who they are as a person. As Covid-19 spread across the world, many turned to blame the Chinese for having caused this virus. I would remember waiting in my car one time at the Target curbside pick up to pick up school supplies for my daughter, and there was another car next to mine. The Target employee reached to give the items to the people in the car next to mine first. The people in the car began to argue with the employee, demanding to have someone else bring their items to them. They refused to collect their purchase. Why? It was because he was Asian. I was disgusted that they were arguing with the employee. It was not his fault. He is trying to survive like the rest of us, and luckily, he still had his job where many were not as fortunate. However, like the students in the NYT Opinion video, those people chose to blame Asians for the outbreak.

    As someone who is not Asian American, the first step I can take in making sure my colleagues and students are aware of the issues at hand and to do my own research and due diligence. The community is also another great asset to be involved in to help me understand my students and their culture. Setting up posters or even weekly announcements to speak on specific issues is a way we can spread the word. We can use technology to spread it across the globe by creating hashtags to have people be aware of the topic. We can create a club where students can bring forth issues to the superintendent and formally present them to address Asian American hate in the schools and community. Listening to our students and letting them know that we not only hear them but also support them can make all the difference in their lives.

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  50. Hi everyone!
    My name is Morgan and I currently attend Cal State Long Beach and I am in the teaching credential program for Adapted Physical Education. I have 2 more semesters (including student teaching) left and I am super excited! I have my bachelor’s in Kinesiology from University of Nevada, Reno and went to community college in my hometown of San Jose, CA.
    I grew up in a very diverse area, but I can’t recall learning too much on Asian American history in school. I went to a private school kindergarten through 8th grade, where we definitely did not learn Asian American history. In high school, the textbooks were very one-sided (US/white) and went into very little detail about anything else. The most in depth we got into Asian American were the Japanese concentration camps, Chinese exclusion act, and the Vietnam war from the United States perspective. Looking back on the education in the United States I can say that it does not paint nearly the whole picture.
    As a future Adapted Physical Educator, some ways that incorporate Asian American history into my lessons are famous Asian American athletes, background knowledge of sports popular in Asia, and obtaining knowledge from students. If I am doing a unit of baseball, on the first day I can show my students some famous Asian American baseball players such as Ichiro Suzuki, Hideo Nomo, Yu Darvish, etc. During a badminton unit I may take a day to explain to my students the background of the sport and how it was created. Lastly, having open communication with students and allowing them to give you suggestions for activities or games that may be popular in their culture.
    I think building relationships with students is extremely important and that begins with trust and respect. Building trust and respect within your classrooms can start by identifying topics such as BLM, Stop Asian Hate, etc. and taking a stance to show your students that you care. Another way to do this is to tie it into current events, such as the xenophobia that has been persistent in our communities since COVID.

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    • Hi Morgan,
      I like the idea of presenting sports from different parts of the world to our students in the United States. I took a class about different games played around the world and it was really interesting to see how some sports were very similar to ones played in America and to realize that so many other sports were popular in other places around the globe. Exposing your students to the popular games from other countries can help them to broaden their minds and possibly seek out more knowledge about those countries and cultures on their own if they enjoy playing the sports. I have noticed organized games of cricket happening on local baseball fields in my area which I had never seen before and which most Americans do not understand. Also, providing students opportunities to play games that may be popular in their culture but not popular in American culture can provide them a chance to display skills that may boost their confidence in athletics. As a PE teacher, I always enjoyed introducing street hockey because it provided an opportunity for most students to begin a sport at the same time. Most students had no experience with hockey so there was not a major advantage for some students already built in like when we played baseball or soccer. Also, if you talk about famous Japanese baseball players you cannot forget to mention Sadaharu Oh, he holds the record for most home runs during a professional career.

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