Episode 127: Individualizing racism when teaching the Civil Rights Movement with John Wills

In Episode 127, Dan and Michael chat with Dr. John Wills about his new article in Theory & Research in Social Education titled, “‘Daniel was racist’: Individualizing racism when teaching about the Civil Rights Movement.”

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Episode 127 John Wills

Books, Articles and Other Amazing Resources

  1. Wills, J. S. (2019). “Daniel was racist”: Individualizing racism when teaching about the Civil Rights Movement. Theory & Research in Social Education, 47(3), 396-425.
  2. Wills, J. S. (2019). Silencing racism: Remembering and forgetting race and racism in 11th grade US history classes. Teachers College Record, 121(4).
  3. Facing History and Ourselves has a number of great lessons: https://www.facinghistory.org/


John Wills, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. His areas of research include history-social studies education, multicultural education, and schooling and collective memory. He has investigated the inclusion, exclusion, and representation of diverse peoples in history and social studies education in elementary and secondary classrooms, efforts to create more inclusive narratives of U.S. history, and the effects of high stakes standardized testing on elementary social studies curriculum and instruction. Most recently, he had investigated the representation of race and racism in high school U.S. history classes. See more on his university profile: https://profiles.ucr.edu/john.wills.

Episode 95: Affirming Indigenous Sovereignty with Sarah Shear, Leilani Sabzalian, & Lisa Brown Buchanan

In this episode, Dan and Michael chat with Sarah Shear, Leilani Sabzalian, and Lisa Brown Buchanan about their new Social Studies and the Young Learner article, “Affirming Indigenous Sovereignty: A Civics Inquiry.”

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Books, Articles and Other Amazing Resources

  1. Shear, S. B., Sabzalian, L., & Buchanan, L. B. (2018). Affirming Indigenous Sovereignty: A Civics Inquiry. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 31(1), 12-18.
  2. For more on how state standards address Indigenous Peoples and Nations, see Sarah’s study on the standards: Shear, S. B., Knowles, R. T., Soden, G. J., & Castro, A. J. (2015). Manifesting destiny: Re/presentations of indigenous peoples in K–12 US history standards. Theory & Research in Social Education, 43(1), 68-101.
  3. Dolores Calderón’s work is often ignored by social studies scholarship, but addresses issues like “First Americans” or “First Texans”: Calderón, D. (2014). Uncovering settler grammars in curriculum. Educational Studies, 50(4), 313-338; Calderón, D. (2014). Speaking back to manifest destinies: A land education-based approach to critical curriculum inquiry. Environmental Education Research, 20(1), 24-36.
  4. NCSS Position Statement “Toward Responsibility: Social Studies Education that Respects and Affirms Indigenous Peoples and Nations”: https://www.socialstudies.org/positions/indigenous-peoples-and-nations
  5. Debbie Reese’s website on American Indians in Children’s Literature: https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com
  6. Debbie’s podcast with Visions of Education: https://visionsofed.com/2017/09/13/episode-67-american-indians-in-childrens-literature-with-debbie-reese/
  7. Debbie Reese’s blog post “Are we people of color?”: https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/p/we-are-not-people-of-color.html
  8. NPR “A Few Things to Know About Why Treaties Matter”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bexvE4lZRGo
  9. Background on Indigenous land tenure issues from the Indian Land Tenure Foundation: https://iltf.org/land-issues/issues/  


Sarah B. Shear, Assistant Professor, Social Studies Education, Penn State University-Altoona. Her work examines race/ism and settler colonialism in K-12 social studies curriculum, specifically state-mandated standards and textbooks representations of Indigenous peoples and nations. Sarah’s work also examines settler colonialism in teacher education, film, and qualitative inquiry. You can find out more about her by visiting her website, http://sarahshearphd.com.

Leilani Sabzalian (Alutiiq), is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies in Education at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on creating spaces to support Indigenous students and Indigenous self-determination in public schools, and preparing teachers to challenge colonialism in curriculum, policy, and practice. Learn more about Dr. Sabzalian at https://education.uoregon.edu/users/leilani-sabzalian.

Lisa Brown Buchanan is an Associate Professor of Elementary Social Studies at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Her research focuses on preparing preservice teachers to teach for topics of race, rights, immigration, family structure, and religion through the use of film, children’s literature, historical sources, and discussion. Learn more about Dr. Buchanan at http://people.uncw.edu/buchananl/.

Episode 93: Ona Judge, George Washington, & the Histories of African American Women with Erica Armstrong Dunbar

In this episode, Dan and Michael chat with Erica Armstrong Dunbar about the work of historians, telling the stories of African American women, teaching slavery, and specifically her book, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge.

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Ep 93

Books, Articles and Other Amazing Resources

  1. Dunbar, E. A. (2017). Never caught: The Washingtons’ relentless pursuit of their runaway slave, Ona Judge. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  2. Dunbar, E. A. (2008). A fragile freedom: African American women and emancipation in the antebellum city. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
  3. Find more on Dr. Dunbar’s work on her site: https://ericaarmstrongdunbar.com/
  4. See related Visions of Education episodes:
    1. Episode 11: Rethinking Black History with LaGarrett King
    2. Episode 69: The Complexity of Citizenship for Black Women Social Studies Teachers with Amanda E. Vickery
    3. Episode 79: Black Critical Patriotism in Elementary Social Studies with Chris Busey & Irenea Walker
    4. Episode 80: New Standards for Teaching American Slavery with Kate Shuster
  5. Here is George Washington’s 1796 runaway ad for Ona Judge from the Philadelphia Gazette (Dr. Dunbar pointed out that this is incorrectly labeled as the Pennsylvania Gazette on Wikipedia) and here is Dan’s inquiry bellringer lesson he used in his class.
  6. Here are letters from George Washington to Oliver Wolcott (his Secretary of the Treasury) about Ona.


Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Ph.D. is a late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century scholar with a specialization in African American women’s history. She is an expert in urban slavery, emancipation studies, and the intersection of race and gender in American history. Her focus on early African American history serves as a natural bridge to her directorship of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia. You can find more on her work on her Rutgers page.

Episode 83: LGBTQ Topics in Education with J.B. Mayo, Jr

In Episode 83, Michael & Dan chat with J.B. Mayo, Jr. of the University of Minnesota to discuss his extensive work in LGBT and Queer Studies – specifically his work on GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances/Genders & Sexualities Alliances) and his recent work published in NCSS’s Social Education on LGBTQ media and its potential impact on youth.

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Ep 83


Books, articles, lessons, and other amazing resources Continue reading