Foreword by: Cinthia Salinas
Publication Date: February 11, 2022
Despite limitations and challenges, teaching about difficult histories is an essential aspect of social studies courses and units across grade levels. This practical resource highlights stories of K–12 practitioners who have critically examined and reflected on their experiences with planning and teaching histories identified as difficult. Featuring the voices of teacher educators, classroom teachers, and museum educators, these stories provide readers with rare examples of how to plan for, teach, and reflect on difficult histories. The book is divided into four main sections: Centering Difficult History Content, Centering Teacher and Student Identities, Centering Local and Community Contexts, and Centering Teacher Decision-making. Key topics include teaching about genocide, slavery, immigration, war, racial violence, and terrorism. This dynamic book highlights the practitioner’s perspective to reveal how teachers can and do think critically about their motivations and the methods they use to engage students in rigorous, complex, and appropriate studies of the past.
Lauren McArthur Harris is an associate professor of history education at Arizona State University. Maia Sheppard is an assistant professor and coordinator of social studies education at the University of Iowa. Sara A. Levy is an associate professor of education at Ithaca College.
“The details that are revealed in this volume create a visceral experience for readers—a chance to peek into a teacher’s thinking and rethinking, and to hear the voices of students and their families….If we can follow the lead of educators included in this compilation, there is hope.”
—From the Foreword by Cinthia Salinas, Ruben E. Hinojosa Regents Professor in Education, The University of Texas at Austin
“I strongly recommend this book to any educator who is interested in better understanding what constitutes ‘difficult histories,’ why it is so important to teach such histories, and what the challenges are when doing so. The rich and engaging examples of practice that permeate this book provide examples of what good teaching of difficult histories looks like in various contexts.”
—Diana E. Hess, dean and Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison