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


  • Zachary A. Casey Rhodes College


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


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.

Author Biography

Zachary A. Casey, Rhodes College

Dr. Zachary A. Casey is Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.  His research focuses on the intersections of multicultural education, critical whiteness studies, teacher education, and critical pedagogy.  His work focuses on building critical racial literacy and antiracist pedagogies with practicing and future teachers, as well as the social, cultural, and philosophical contexts of education.