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Resources for Educators Teaching Reconstruction

Teaching Reconstruction Panel
Teaching Reconstruction with Dr. Kidada William. Panelists (from top left and going clockwise) Annie Evans, Christy Coleman, Ed Ayers, and moderator Kidada Williams.

Last week, VPM hosted Teaching Reconstruction with Dr. Kidada Williams, a webinar and panel discussion for history educators exploring ways to teach a fuller history of America’s post-Civil War Reconstruction era. 

Dr. Williams, host of VPM’s popular original podcast Seizing Freedom and history professor at Wayne State University, led an engaging conversation with panelists Christy Coleman, Executive Director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation; Ed Ayers, Executive Director for New American History at the University of Richmond and host of VPM’s Future of America’s Past television series; and Annie Evans, Director of Education and Outreach for New American History

More than 160 educators from Virginia and throughout the nation joined the conversation, asking questions about teaching a difficult history with honesty, compassion, and integrity. Excerpts from Seizing Freedom were played and introduced as a tool for teaching what has often been left out of American history books.

Annie Evans provided an Innovation and Curiosity Plan to the participants for lesson planning, including relevant resources to support teachers as they embark on Virginia’s updated Standards of Learning requirements for social studies. Participants were encouraged to copy the plan to their computer and use it to keep track of their progress in the coming months.  

You may view a recording of the webinar below. A transcript is available, as is the webinar chat, featuring supportive and insightful conversation between participants as they worked through the presentation.

In an effort to support educators in Virginia and beyond, VPM will partner with New American History this summer to create Civil War and Reconstruction curricula featuring Seizing Freedom for the 2021/2022 school year and beyond. Be on the lookout for updates and where to find teaching resources as they are made available on PBS Learning Media and #GoOpenVA.

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