Episode 76: Teaching Asian-American Histories with Noreen Naseem Rodriguez

In episode 76, Dan and Michael chat with Noreen Naseem Rodriguez about teaching Asian-American histories and her new Social Studies and the Young Learner article, “But They Didn’t Do Nothin’ Wrong!”: Teaching about Japanese-American Incarceration.

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Books, articles, lessons, and other amazing resources

  1. Rodríguez, N. N. (2017). “But they didn’t do nothin’ wrong!”: Teaching about Japanese-American incarceration. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 30(2), 17-23. SSYL November/December 2017 issue page.
  2. Dr. Rodriguez’ recommendations:
    1. Her website: naseemrdz.com
    2. Her Asian American curriculum: http://naseemrdz.com/asian-american-history-curriculum/
    3. Her Asian American Children’s Lit Book List
    4. The Making of Asian America: A History (2016) by Erika Lee
    5. Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans (1998) by Ronald Takaki
    6. Landed (2006) by Milly Lee
    7. Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America (2013) by Helen Foster James
    8. Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain (2014) by Russell Freedman
  3. Dan recommends: Sylvia & Aki (2013) by Winifred Conkling
  4. Michael recommends the following podcasts:
    1.  The “American Pendulum” episode from the More Perfect podcast that focuses on the Korematsu v. United States Supreme Court case.
    2. Stuff You Missed in History episodes: Executive Order 9066 & Japanese Internments, Part 1 and Executive Order 9066 & Japanese Internments, Part 2
    3. Manzanar from the 99% Invisible podcast
  5.  Learn about the Tejano History Curriculum Project: Salinas, C., Rodríguez, N. N., & Lewis, B. A. (2015). The Tejano history curriculum project: Creating a space for authoring Tejanas/os into the social studies curriculum. Bilingual Research Journal, 38(2), 172-189.
  6. Daniels, R. (2005). Words do matter: A note on inappropriate terminology and the incarceration of the Japanese Americans. Nikkei in the Pacific Northwest: Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians in the Twentieth Century, 183-207.
  7. The Bracelet (1996) by Yoshiko Uchida
  8. Japanese American Internment” primary source set from the Library of Congress
  9. Dan mentioned a page in Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation (2014) by Duncan Tonatiuhthe where various groups facing discrimination file amicus briefs in Mendez v. Westminster (1947).


Noreen Naseem Rodriguez is a teacher educator who focuses on preparing future elementary teachers to foster more inclusive renditions of U.S. history and citizenship. Her research interests fall into two strands: 1) understanding how the hybrid experiences of Asian American and Latinx pre- and in-service teachers inform their pedagogy and curricular enactment, and 2) examining how elementary social studies educators go beyond the textbook to engage their students in broad and meaningful examples of citizenship. She works with teachers, school districts, and community organizations to develop culturally relevant and culturally sustaining social studies curriculum and seek to emphasize the role of historical contextualization in the use of children’s literature. Her research has been published in The Bilingual Research Journal, Social Studies & the Young Learner, The Urban Review, and the recent Handbook of Social Studies Research. Before becoming a teacher educator, she was a bilingual elementary teacher for nine years in Austin, Texas. See her bio on her Iowa State University faculty page and follow her updates on Twitter @NaseemRdz.

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