A model curriculum on the oneness of mankind
The San Marcos Baha’i community believes that an important step towards eliminating racism would be the elaboration and implementation of a universal, yet culturally adaptable, curriculum on the organic oneness of mankind. This curriculum must be inspired by a recognition that racial prejudice will not be eliminated solely by studying the problem of racial discrimination; rather, the eradication of racial prejudice requires the development at an early age of a consciousness of the basic human and spiritual bonds uniting peoples of different races, colors and ethnic origins. What renders such a curriculum practical is the fact that these bonds are not merely ideal; they are real, and the latest knowledge that the biological, social, anthropological, economic and political sciences have to offer in testimony to the reality of human oneness and interdependence can be brought to bear in this curriculum.
Specifically, we propose that this model curriculum includes study of:
the biological unity of the human race as one human species, with differences in physical and intellectual characteristics among the races having been produced by evolutionary, historical and environmental factors, all races possessing the same fundamental human biological characteristics and the same inherent capacities for intellectual achievement;
the basic human needs, desires and emotions shared by all human beings;
the universal quest by each individual for self-identity;
the universal institution of the family as the basic unit of society;
the universal need to belong to and participate in the life of a larger community, and to develop a sense of cultural identity; and
the social, economic, cultural and political interdependence of all peoples.
In the examination of each of these areas, cultural differences can be studied and appreciated as different expressions and manifestations of these same universal human characteristics and needs. In addition to these basic topics, the following subjects might also be included:
understanding how racial prejudice grows out of a failure to perceive the bonds uniting all peoples;
the importance of contact with people of other races as a means of breaking down prejudices and perceiving shared human bonds; and
the different forms and manifestations of racial prejudice in our everyday lives.
The Baha’i community believes that the development and implementation of a curriculum on the oneness of the human race, oriented towards the earliest stages of development of the child’s personality, offers a realistic hope for the elimination of racial prejudice. Based upon their principles and their accumulated experience in practically promoting racial unity, Baha’is are convinced that human attitudes can change; that, through a recognition of the organic oneness of peoples of all races and colors, racial prejudice and the attendant social ill of racial discrimination can be abolished. We express the sincere hope that the San Marcos CISD board and administrators will share in that optimism and determination and make concrete plans to introduce into the curriculum a comprehensive program of the oneness of mankind.
There are also more immediate resources that can be provided to teachers and staff that are available for implementation in classrooms now.
Resources for schools and teachers:
There are many children’s award-winning picture books that lend themselves to topics of social justice, race, and equity. Teachers can look up award-winning books from The Tomas Rivera Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Pura Belpre Award, South Asian Book Award, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, to name a few. These books can be tied in with social studies TEKS and/or ELAR Teks.
Morning Meeting time can be used to discuss recent events in the news, ask the children for problem-solving ideas on issues of poverty, health care, homelessness, and racism. We have so many brilliant children, and many will have excellent ideas.
Lastly, the Bahai’s National Spiritual Assembly has a website for further resources: www.bahai.us/race-unity-action.
Baha’is respect all faiths and often use interfaith materials to teach values to children. You do not have to be a Baha’i to benefit from Baha’i ideas and resources. We are all about networking with like-minded individuals seeking to create a just world for all.
submitted by San Marcos Baha’is