Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Monday, June 20, 2005

African American History

My approach to African American History has changed over my nine year teaching career. During my first three years of teaching, I made few references to African American History in my classes other than those covered in the state standards. The past six years up until today has seen come major changes.

My interest in the civil rights movement and African American history has increased and this has carried over into my classes. Teaching high school American History means that most of the class is focused after Reconstruction. While I used to use a negligible amount of time for African American history, that has changed in the past years. Looking at African American History over the past 130 years is a productive way to build in character education, government standards, and content reading into the American History class.

My two most recent additions has been a further detailed unit on school desegregation. In particular, the role Kansas individuals played. The other area that I am trying to develop for classroom use is a study looking at the efforts and contrasts between W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington. In a perfect educational world I would have my classes read The Souls of Black Folk and Up From Slavery at the beginning of the year and then apply the ideas and themes from those books and the methods prescribed by the authors to not only African History but all of American History.

FOR DISCUSSION: What aspects of African American history are essential in American History classes?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that a unit on slavery- from the slaves point of view of how they were treated and how they lived and then how they felt when they were granted their freedom...that part of american history is really never discussed

8:04 PM  

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