THE MISSISSIPPI FREEDOM SCHOOL CURRICULUM
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Because material trickled in until the very last moment, the actual contents of the curriculum do not correspond exactly with the “materials” listed at the beginning of each unit in the citizenship curriculum. The following Table of Contents describes what is actually in the curriculum. You can make corrections of the “materials” lists if you wish. . . . Items marked (P) are included only in the coordinators’ copies of the curriculum.
A Note to the Teacher
Part I: Academic Curriculum
[Inserted by Editors:] Science
Part II: Citizenship Curriculum
[Inserted by Editors:] The Poor in America
Case studies: Triple Revolution
Case studies: Guide to Negro History
In White America (P)
[Inserted by Editors:] Negro History Addendum I
[Inserted by Editors:] Negro History Addendum II
[Inserted by Editors:] Negro History Study Questions
[Inserted by Editors:] Development of Negro Power
Case studies: Mississippi Power Structure
[Inserted by Editors:] Nazi Germany
Case studies: Hazard, KY (P)
Case studies: Statements of Discipline of Nonviolent Movements
Unit VII The Movement; Part 1, Freedom rides and sit-ins;
Part 2, COFO’s Political Program
Case studies: Readings in Nonviolence
[Inserted by Editors:] Charles Remsberg,"Behind the Cotton Curtain"
[Inserted by Editors:] Nonviolence in American History
[Inserted by Editors:] Teaching Material for Unit VII, Part 2
Part III: Recreational and Artistic Curriculum
A NOTE TO THE TEACHER
As you know, you will be teaching in a non-academic sort of setting; probably the basement of a church. Your students will be involved in voter registration activity after school. They may not come to school regularly. We will be able to provide some books, hopefully, some films, certainly some interesting guest speakers—yet other than these things you will have few materials apart from those you and your fellow teachers have brought.
In such a setting a “curriculum” must necessarily be flexible. We cannot provide lesson plans. All we can do is give you some models and suggestions which you can fall back on when you wish. You, your colleagues, and your students are urged to shape your own curriculum in the light of the teachers’ skills, the students’ interests, and the resources of the particular community in which your school is located.
The curriculum suggestions which follow fall into three parts, corresponding to three blocks of time into which you may wish to divide your school day. First come some ideas about the presentation of conventional academic subjects: English, mathematics, and the like.
We think such instruction is likely to be most fruitful at the beginning of the school day, when students are fresh. But we urge you, whenever possible, to use as materials for instruction in these subjects the actual problems of communication and analysis which the student encounters in his daily life, e.g. how to write a leaflet, how to calculate the number of eligible voters in a community.
Most of the material in this curriculum belongs to the citizenship curriculum, which you may want to present during the second half of the morning on a typical day. We assume that in this, as in all other phases of your teaching, you will use an informal, question-and-answer method. Hence, you will find that the material on citizenship is divided into seven units, each of which springs from a question, and each of which leads on to another question, which forms the next unit.
A large number of case studies have been provided to help you make the citizenship curriculum as concrete and vivid as possible. Many people, in many organizations, have taken part in preparing these case studies. If you disagree with the viewpoint of a particular case study, or of some part of the citizenship curriculum, please feel free to approach the problem in your own way.
Finally, we have some suggestions about the artistic, recreational and cultural activities which we think you may want to schedule in the afternoon, when it’s hot. Don’t neglect this phase of the curriculum. The comradeship formed on the ball field or in the group singing may be the basis of your relationship with a student.
[Editors’ Note: We have inserted curriculum material that arrived after the Table of Content was completed, or that was written during Freedom Summer, at the places that we deemed appropriate (marked as Inserted by Editors.)]
The document is from the
Iris Greenberg / Freedom Summer Collection, 1963-1964
Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division,
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,
The New York Public Library;
Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations