The Gettysburg Address in English Class: An ‘Exemplar’ of Common Core’s Attack On Diverse Learners

Zachary A. Casey


This article analyzes the Common Core lesson “A Close Reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: A Common Core Unit” to interrogate the ways in which tensions emerge between the lesson and the research literature on funds of knowledge, multicultural education, and culturally relevant pedagogy.  As this lesson is depicted as an “exemplar” that textbook authors, teachers, and curriculum makers should seek to emulate, I show examples of how this lesson undermines critical research on teaching and learning with diverse learners.  I conclude with implications for both practicing P-12 teachers and curricular researchers as we continue to struggle and carve out practices of resistance in the era of Common Core.


Common Core State Standards, Multicultural Education, Funds of Knowledge, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Standards

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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