Asian American voices and experiences are largely absent from elementary curricula.
Asian Americans are an extraordinarily diverse group of people, yet are often viewed through stereotypical lenses: as Chinese or Japanese only, as recent immigrants who do not speak English, as exotic foreigners, or as a “model minority” who do well in school. This fundamental misperception of who Asian Americans are begins with young learners―often from what they learn, or do not learn, in school.
This book sets out to amend the superficial treatment of Asian American histories in U.S. textbooks and curriculum by providing elementary teachers with a more nuanced, thematically driven account. In chapters focusing on the complexity of Asian American identity, major moments in Asian immigration, war and displacement, issues of citizenship, and Asian American activism, the authors include suggestions across content areas for guided class discussions, ideas for broader units, and recommendations for children’s literature as well as primary sources.
Introduction. 1. Pedagogical Overview. 2. Identity and Stereotypes. 3. Im/Migration. 4. Citizenship. 5. War and Displacement. 6. Activism and Resistance. 7. Contention and Complexity
"Teaching Asian America in Elementary Classrooms is a critically important book that I wish my son's teachers had read. If you teach Asian American children or want to understand Asian American education at the elementary level, you need this incredible book."
—Wayne Au, Professor, UW Bothell School of Educational Studies and Rethinking Schools editor
“This book is a vital tool in helping teachers tell the story of Asian America. It is the story of America itself, and it deserves to be shared with every student, at every age, all year round.”
—Christina Soontornvat, three-time Newbery Honor recipient
"This book offers a place to enter when inquiring about Asian and Asian Americans with the full complexity of those categorical markers. With both examples and a humility on the part of the authors, readers are invited into an often invisiblized reality in the U.S. that have always been connected to Asian American organizing for rights over the past two centuries."
—Leigh Patel, Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Education, and Central Chair Committee, Education for Liberation