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Teaching Critically About Lewis and Clark

Challenging Dominant Narratives in K–12 Curriculum

Alison Schmitke Leilani Sabzalian Jeff Edmundson

216 pages
Teachers College Press
The Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery is often presented as an exciting adventure story of discovery, friendship, and patriotism. However, this same period in U.S. history can be understood quite differently when viewed through an anticolonial lens and the Doctrine of Discovery. How might educators critically interrogate the assumptions that underlie this adventure story through their teaching? This book challenges dominant narratives and packaged curriculum about Lewis and Clark to support more responsible social studies instruction. The authors provide a conceptual framework, ready-to-use lesson plans, and teaching resources to address oversimplified versions of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Indigenous perspectives, along with contemporary issues, are embedded in each lesson to encourage active and critical engagement with history and the legacies of conquest those living in what is now called the United States have inherited. Book Features: A new look at social studies curriculum about the Corps of Discovery—and Manifest Destiny—through the Doctrine of Discovery. Examples of how Indigenous peoples have long engaged in philosophical, legal, and political challenges to the principles of the Doctrine. Social studies lesson plans for elementary and secondary classrooms. Useful curriculum materials to help teachers present a deeper examination of this topic.
Author Bio
Alison Schmitke is a senior lecturer and director of the Educational Foundations Program at the University of Oregon. Leilani Sabzalian (Alutiiq) is an assistant professor of indigenous studies in education at the University of Oregon. Jeff Edmundson is a former high school teacher and recently retired after many years as director of the teacher education program at the University of Oregon.