The Minnesota Department of Education released a draft of its new social studies curriculum standards, which place a new emphasis on diversity, equity, and gender.
The social studies curriculum is up for state-wide review during the 2020-21 school year as part of Minnesota’s 10-year cyclical curriculum review. The Department of Education’s standards committee has dubbed the new framework a “more inclusive approach to social studies education.”
According to a copy of the standards, the committee wants to begin social studies classes with a land acknowledgment. Land acknowledgments tell students that they are learning on land that was conquered by Americans, though once belonged to Native Americans.
“Minnesota is the contemporary and ancestral home of the Anishinaabe and Dakota peoples, and social studies education on this land will acknowledge and honor their contemporary and historical voices,” the draft reads.
Under the new standards, learning about social justice curriculum begins in the first grade. Six and seven-year-olds may be taught about systemic discrimination and how groups have fought against such discrimination.