Wednesday, 22 January 2014

High School Immigration Project

Robert Cox from Pearland High School in Texas has set up the project for his high school students to write a historical fiction book for children about immigration into America. It is useful not only when considering the factors that faced those immigrating into America, but also how different nationalities and types of people were facing the same situation.

Therefore, it can be said that Cox's project for his students highlights the idea of both the Melting Pot and the Salad Bowl. The Melting Pot is a metaphor for the 'melting' or integrating of nationalities into the American identity, so that there is essentially just the identity of 'the American', no matter of a person's actual identity or country of origin. Whereas the Salad Bowl embraces difference and demonstrates how different people, nationalities, personalities or groups join together to create 'the American'.
The research links at the bottom of the page that have been given highlight both of these factors. The fact that topics such as 'German Immigration to America', 'French Immigration', 'Swedish Immigration' and 'Becoming an American: The Chinese Experience' are all covered, make the concept of the Salad Bowl clear as their nationalities are at the forefront of the discussion. Additionally, when Cox poses the question 'what did your immigrants contribute to our country?', the idea of individualism and each country or group of people having their own contributing factors to America, sees immigration as a more accepting and integrating process as opposed to the idea of the Melting Pot.
Whereas the 'Chinese Experience' of 'Becoming an American' refers more to the Melting Pot because the Chinese are almost having to change their identities to become American, hence the 'melting' into a particular type that suits the American identity.

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