The Educational Framework presents the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy’s unique approach to democracy education. Written by Gary Y. Okihiro, Ph.D., it offers an alternative to traditional methods by getting students to think about their own roles in a democratic society. When students look at a broader picture of America, they begin to see the role that minorities have played in shaping and expanding democracy’s reach for all.
Sections of the Framework
The sections below help you understand our approach, present the actual framework materials, show how the framework relates to educational standards, and offer tips on putting it to work.
The Rationale provides an understanding of the framework, based upon the premise that democracy is a work in progress, made and remade by individuals and groups in time and place. This curriculum stresses the roles of historically excluded groups in the act of creating American democracy, as a corrective to the prevailing misconceptions of democracy's natures and meanings. Further, the efforts of those who have been denied power and privilege for inclusion within the American dream point to the contradictions within American democracy that afford, at once, both opportunities and constraints. Democracy is struggled over, and is thus "fought" for.
The Educational Framework is intended to complement – but also rethink and reframe – the familiar curriculum in its focus upon the deeds of excluded groups that ensured and extended democracy's compass. This curriculum stresses instead the struggles of those excluded groups against physical and cultural genocide, against inhumanity and economic exploitation, and against inequality and racism. Their acts of resistance, as individuals and collectives, constitute a human and civil rights movement that flows like a river through the entirety of the nation's past.
The Educational Framework curriculum addresses national educational standards for historical thinking, language arts, and social studies. This section correlates the curriculum to specific, relevant national standards.