Nccss presentation 2014: Examining Rosa's Refusal (to sit down) and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Through Children's Literature
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Nccss presentation 2014: Examining Rosa's Refusal (to sit down) and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Through Children's Literature



Examining Rosa's Refusal (to sit down) and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Through Children's Literature

Examining Rosa's Refusal (to sit down) and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Through Children's Literature



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  • No established community activismPassive description, or institutionalized, or highlight inequities in separate facilitiesActually, there was a neutral section of the bus, but Blacks were supposed to give up their seats for Whites when the bus got full.She did not sit in the frontShe did, but…she was not the firstInstantaneous without organizationUse MLK as the primary organizer
  • No established community activismPassive description, or institutionalized, or highlight inequities in separate facilitiesActually, there was a neutral section of the bus, but Blacks were supposed to give up their seats for Whites when the bus got full.She did not sit in the frontShe did, but…she was not the firstInstantaneous without organizationUse MLK as the primary organizer
  • Organized affiliations or activist work?—in an organized setting with a group. Is there mention of her prior negative interactions/bus dispute in 1943?—this wasn’t the first time she had said “no” on the bus.How is segregation defined or described—is it mentioned? Is the term “Jim Crow” used when defining segregation. Accurate portrayal of separate but equal facilities? Moral judgment about segregation by author? Characterized as resolved or continuing social issue? Geographical area given when describing segregation?Previous bus incidents? People besides Rosa? Mention of the duration of the boycott? Mention of long-term planning? Mention of church participation w/in context of the boycott and AA community? Inclusion/description of affiliated leadership organizations? Mention of boycott leaders (besides RP and MLK)? Mention or reference to Browder v. Gayle case?
  • Perpetuates myth of spontaneity instead of pre-planningBrowder v. Gayle case

Nccss presentation 2014: Examining Rosa's Refusal (to sit down) and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Through Children's Literature Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Examining Rosa's Refusal (to sit down) and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Through Children's Literature Eric Groce, Appalachian State University Elizabeth Bellows, Appalachian State University Tina Heafner, University of North Carolina - Charlotte
  • 2. ―Rosa Parks the Tired‖—Kohl’s Critique 1. Rosa Parks was a poor, tired seamstress 2. Segregation 3. Blacks had to give up seats in the front and move to the back 4. Rosa sat in the front of the bus 5. Rosa refused to move 6. Boycotting the buses 7. The boycott succeeds
  • 3. ―She Would Not Be Moved: The Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycotts‖—Kohl’s Critique 1. Mrs. Parks the strong, respected community leader with a history of activism – perseverance & courage 2. Confront to Overcome: Overt, institutionalized, sanctioned inequality in South 3. ―Colored‖ Section– 5-10 rows back 4. Mrs. Parks sat in the front of the ―Colored Section‖ 5. With clear resolve, a well intentioned Mrs. Parks refused to obey the unfair laws of segregation 6. Montgomery Bus Boycott = coordinated action-- planned & organized (1949-1955)– an event waiting to happen—Mobilized quickly 7. 381inconvenient days & a call to lead--boycott ended & struggle for equality began— hope for social change and justice is democracy
  • 4. 20 years have passed… • Students (and teachers) further removed from events of the Civil Rights Movement • Rosa Parks and MLK are ubiquitous in elementary school curriculum • Teachers rely on picture books to supplement ―official‖ curriculum
  • 5. Research Questions • More than 20 years after Kohl’s critique, how do current picture books treat the story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott? • How do these books mention or treat – civil rights activism of Rosa Parks prior to her arrest on December 1, 1955? – the notion of segregation and Jim Crow laws? – involvement of the community in the bus boycott?
  • 6. The Books
  • 7. Methodology • Qualitative content analysis • Books published at least 10 years since Kohl’s critique • Books were coded by collapsing Kohl’s myths to construct sixteen variables, organized into three clusters: • Prior Activism of Rosa Parks • Segregation • Community Involvement
  • 8. Findings: Prior activism • 3/11 of the books mentioned prior work with organized groups • 2/11 of the books mentioned previous disputes by RP
  • 9. Prior Activism Rosa Parks at the Highlander School; 1955 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott; June 1953 E.D. Nixon; civil rights and voting rights activist Rosa Parks takes local black youth to integrated Freedom Train; December 27,1947 Women’s Political Council (WPC); founded 1946; Mary Fair Burks, President 1946-1950; Jo Ann Robinson, President 1950-1960 Claudette Colvin arrest Montgomery Advertiser; March 2,1955 Montgomery Advertiser; June 25,1949
  • 10. Findings: Segregation • 11/11 mentioned segregation • 4/11 mentioned the term Jim Crow when describing segregation • 4/11 gave examples of inferior public facilities • 8/11 expressed moral judgment (author voice) toward segregation
  • 11. Findings: Segregation • 6/11 mentioned geographical region when describing segregation • 6/11 treated civil rights as an ongoing struggle, whereas 5/11 treated it as resolved • 10/11 mentioned the Montgomery bus code (laws on buses)
  • 12. Segregation Montgomery Advertiser January 1956 Montgomery Advertiser January 9,1956 Montgomery Advertiser; December 15,1955 Montgomery Advertiser March 8,1956 Montgomery Advertiser January 18,1956
  • 13. Findings: Community involvement • 11/11 Length of boycott mentioned • 0/11 mentioned the boycott within the context of long-term planning • 6/11 mentioned church participation
  • 14. Findings: Community Involvement • 4/11 mentioned affiliated groups (MIA, NAACP, WPC) • 3/11 mentioned leaders besides MLK and RP • 0/11 mentioned Browder v. Gayle • 0/11 prior bus incidents with community members (besides RP)
  • 15. Community Involvement Montgomery Improvement Association ―rolling churches‖ Alabama Journal; December 4,1955
  • 16. Discussion • ―Rosa is Tired‖ narrative not as prevalent …BUT • More iconic representation of Rosa Parks and MLK • Silences voices of prior activism and community involvement
  • 17. Implications • Students internalize inaccurate or incomplete historical narratives (―and Jim Crow flew away‖) • Teachers are still unprepared to facilitate discussions about race • Need for historical thinking resources and practices
  • 18. ―That was day three-eighty-two, when Jim Crow flew away. He had no more power in Montgomery.‖ Montgomery Advertiser; April 23,1960 library schools Montgomery Advertiser; February 27,1968 Birmingham News; April 23,1960 Birmingham Post Herald; August 4,1964 Montgomery Advertiser; April 28, 1962 parks Montgomery Advertiser; December 31,1958 Alabama Journal; April 4,1961 Alabama Journal; April 15,1960 Montgomery Advertiser; February 25,1965
  • 19. What do we do? • Van Sledright’s (2009) ―Source Work‖ – Identification – Attribution – Judging perspective – Reliability assessment (corroboration) • Don’t only use ―good‖ books…use a collection and allow students to critique and engage in the work of historians— interpretations substantiated by evidence
  • 20. Conclusion • Teachers and teacher educators should model critical investigations of history through the use of picture books • History should be ―uncovered‖ • Publishers need to balance profits with accuracy, authenticit y, and complexity
  • 21. Questions? {the following 13 slides contain a bibliography}
  • 22. References • Anderson, Nancy A. Elementary Children’s Literature: The Basics for Teachers and Parents. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2002. • Apple, Michael W. Ideology and Curriculum. 3rd ed., New York, NY: Routledge, 2004. • Baldwin, Lewis and Aprille Woodson. Freedom is Never Free: A Biographical Portrait of E.D. Nixon, Sr. Atlanta, GA: A. Woodson, 1992. • Beach, Richard and Others. “Exploring the “critical” in critical content analysis of children’s literature.” 58th Yearbook of the National Reading Council, 129-143, 2009.
  • 23. References (cont’d) • Bednarz, S. and Others. Build Our Nation. Atlanta, GA: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. • Brophy, Jere and Janet Alleman. Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education, 2007. • Burns, Stewart. Daybreak of Freedom: The Montgomery Bus Boycott. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1997. • Chanko, Pamela. Rosa Parks: Bus Ride to Freedom. New York, NY: Scholastic, 2007. • Colwell Miller, Connie. Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2007.
  • 24. References (cont’d) • Davis Pinkney, Andrea. Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2008. • Dubois, Muriel. Rosa Parks. Mankato, MN: Bridgestone Books, 2003. • Duncan Edwards, Pamela. The Bus Ride that Changed History: The Story of Rosa Parks. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. • Epstein, Terrie. Interpreting National History: Race, identity, and pedagogy in classrooms and communities. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009.
  • 25. References (cont’d) • Foster, Stuart and Others. “Prospects for Teaching Historical Analysis and Interpretation: National Curriculum Standards for History Meet Current History Textbooks.” Journal of curriculum and Supervision 11.4. (1996): 367-385. • Freedman, Russell. Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. New York, NY: Holiday House, 2006. • Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum, 1970. • Friese, Kai. Rosa Parks: The Movement Organizes. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett Press, 1990.
  • 26. References (cont’d) • Galda, Lee and Bernice E. Cullinan. Literature and the Child, 5th ed., Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Wadsworth Group, 2002. • Garrow, David J. The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1987. • Giovanni, Nikki. Rosa. New York, NY: Scholastic, 2005. • Graetz, Robert. Montgomery: A White Preacher’s Memoir. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1991. • Gray, Fred D. and Others. The Children Coming On: A Retrospective of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Montgomery, AL: The Black Belt Press, 1998.
  • 27. References (cont’d) • Gray, Fred D. Bus Ride to Justice: Changing the System by the System, Revised ed., Montgomery, AL: New South Books, 2013. • Hampton, Henry, Steve Fayer, and Sarah Flynn. Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1990. • Hare, Kenneth M. They Walked to Freedom, 1955-1956: The History of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC, 2005. • Harrington, Walt. “Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.” In The Civil Rights Movement. Edited by Paul A. Winters. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 2000.
  • 28. References (cont’d) • Holloway, Jennifer and John Chiodo. “Social Studies IS Being Taught in the Elementary School: A Contrarian View.” Journal of Social Studies Research, 33.2. (2009): 235-261. • Hoose, Phillip. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice. New York, NY: Melanie Kroupa Books, 2009. • Hope Fine, Edith. Rosa Parks: Meet a Civil Rights Hero. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2004. • Howard, Tyrone C. Why Race and Culture Matters in Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap in America's Classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press, 2010. • Huck, Kiefer and Others, Children’s Literature in the Elementary School. 8th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
  • 29. References (cont’d) • Jacobs, James S. and Michael O. Tunnell, Children’s Literature, Briefly. 3rd ed. Columbus, OH: Pearson Education, 2004. • Johnson, Denise. The Joy of Children’s Literature. 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2012. • Kittinger, Jo S. Rosa’s Bus: The Ride to Civil Rights. Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek, 2010. • Kohl, Herbert. “The Politics of Children’s Literature: The Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.” Journal of Education, 173.1. (1991): 35-50. • Kozol, Jonathan. The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America. New York: Crown Publishers, 2005.
  • 30. References (cont’d) • Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Touchstone, 2007. • Lukens, Rebecca J. A Critical Handbook of Children’s Literature. 7th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc., 2003. • Mara, Wil. Rosa Parks. Revised ed. New York, NY: Scholastic, 2007. • McLaren, Peter. “Critical Pedagogy: A Look at the Major Concepts.” In The Critical Pedagogy Reader, 2nd ed., edited by Antonia Darder, Marta P. Baltodano, and Rodolfo D. Torres, 61-83. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009. • Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009.
  • 31. References (cont’d) • Mitchell, Diana and Others. Children’s Literature: An Invitation to the World. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc., 2005. • Orfield, Gary, John Kucsera, and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley. E Pluribus… Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students. Los Angeles: UCLA Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, 2012. • Parker, Walter C. Social Studies in Elementary Education. 14th ed. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2012. • Parks, Rosa and Jim Haskins. Rosa Parks: My Story. New York: Puffin Books, 1992.
  • 32. References (cont’d) • Phibbs, Cheryl. The Montgomery Bus Boycott: A History and Reference Guide. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2009. • Pingry, Patricia A. Meet Rosa Parks. Nashville, TN: Ideals Children’s Books, 2008. • Roberson, Houston B. Fighting the Good Fight: The Story of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, 1865-1977. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2005. • Schreier, Margrit. Qualitative Content Analysis in Practice. London: Sage, 2012. • Temple, Martinez and Others. Children’s Books in Children’s Hands. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2002.
  • 33. References (cont’d) • Tomlinson, C., M. Tunnell, and D. Richgels. “The Content and Writing of History in Textbooks and Trade Books.” The Story of Ourselves (1993): 51-62. • Tunnell, Michael O. and Richard Ammon. “The Story of Ourselves: Fostering New Perspectives.” Social Education 60.4. (1996): 212-215. • Vandergrift, Kay E. Children’s Literature: Theory, Research, and Teaching. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1990. • White Marilyn D. and Marsh, Emily E. “Content Analysis: A Flexible Methodology.” Library Trends 55.1. (2006): 22-45.
  • 34. References (cont’d) • Wills, John S. “Putting the Squeeze on Social Studies: Managing Teaching Dilemmas in Subject Areas Excluded from State Testing.” Teachers College Record 109.8. (2007): 1980-2046.
  • 35. Additional Primary Source Materials • /1/materials/textbook/