life beyond the well…

What are we teaching about King’s Dream?


How much do we really know about Dr. King? Outside of knowing that he had a dream, what do we know? We know that he married Coretta, that he was assassinated in Memphis, and then what?

This article from the Washington Post says that a lot of students are unaware of Dr. King’s dream. I find that interesting because Martin Luther King is one of the premier subjects if/when black history is covered in social studies classes. Part of the argument is that curriculums are so rigid that there isn’t enough time to cover something that won’t be covered on their standardized tests.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“In a recent survey of college students on U.S. civic literacy, more than 81 percent knew that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was expressing hope for “racial justice and brotherhood” in his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.

That’s the good news.

Most of the rest surveyed thought King was advocating the abolition of slavery…

In many schools across the country, teachers say social studies has taken a back seat under the federal No Child Left Behind law, which stresses math and reading. Squeezing history into the curriculum can be difficult, educators say, and taking time out of a scheduled lesson to use a federal holiday — even King’s — as a teaching moment can be tough.”

Any insights? What did you learn about Dr. King in school?


Author: erin.almond

God-chaser. NC native, now planted in Jacksonville, FL. Happily married to a handsome church-planting pastor. I am easily excited by Jesus, education, cupcakes, Moleskine notebooks, and Pepsi. Overwhelmed by God's amazing grace, undeserving of His love and mercy.

3 thoughts on “What are we teaching about King’s Dream?

  1. I learned that he had a dream, that he used excellent literary devices in his speech and that he was a very important man in the history of the United States.

    That’s what I learned in grade-school.

  2. I also learned that he had a dream, and of course about the speech. In grade school, they lumped him together with Rosa Parks.

    It wasn’t until I got older and did research on my own that I learned about some of his other ideas, and read his other writings. The Letter from a Birmingham Jail is a phenomenal piece of literature…

  3. I could give a thorough oral biography on King by the time I started high school.

    I was listening to the radio this morning and the DJ on the hip hop station said his 11 year old thought MLK was a president so he made her do a report on him. His play son didn’t know who Cesar Chavez was and they are Latino. So he made him do a report on it. He read it on the radio. It was good. I learned a lot.

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