Transforming social studies : a case for the inclusion of Sylvia Wynter in the canon of social studies education



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The purpose of this dissertation is to make a case that Sylvia Wynter should be included in the social studies education canon. To prove this the Wynterian Approach is used to evaluate the Texas social studies curriculum and instructional materials at the fourth (4th) grade and seventh (7th) grade levels in particular. The case that is specifically studied is the situatedness of Stephen F. Austin as a Texas icon in the social studies and in sites of public memory. The Wynterian Approach offers a way to advance social studies analysis out of simplistic representations and away from easy counternarratives to find what more could be learned by posing the question: What does It mean to be human? In the case of Stephen F. Austin this question opens the door onto a wealth of what would have been easily ignored educational possibilities that Texas students need to face in their academic development and social studies skills development given the task of preparing our students for 21st century problems.