Capstone Project Title
Social Studies is considered an essential element of American public education as an academic discipline that cultivates essential knowledge and skills for meaningful participation in democratic society but has become marginalized in recent decades at the elementary level. The current-day state of Maine passed LD291 in 2001 to require K-12 teachers to include Maine Native Americans in all Social Studies instruction. The full implementation of this vision has not yet been achieved due to various barriers and limitations. Yet this work is more critical than ever in current-day Maine, the Whitest state in the nation and a place where the legacy of settler colonialism renders thousands of years of indigenous people, culture, and history excluded, essentialized, and minoritized in their own homeland. This capstone project asks, how can a Social Studies curricular unit help Grade 3 students increase knowledge about and integration of indigenous peoples in Maine? A curricular unit was developed to teach a more complete version of Maine Studies with the explicit goal of changing student attitudes regarding integration of Wabanaki peoples, based on wisdom gained from the fields of Social Studies education, multicultural education, American Indian/Alaska Native education. A particular focus on land education inspired a decolonizing lens to recenter and affirm historical and ongoing indigenous experience in this place.
Curriculum, Multicultural Education, Reflective Practice, Social Justice
Hutchison, Margaret, "Redefining Maine: Grade 3 Maine Studies Curricular Unit" (2020). School of Education Student Capstone Projects. 511.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects