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Framing U.S. History: The Thorny Business of Teaching the Past
(Pictured from left: Ansley T. Erickson, Errol C. Saunders II, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Kerry Foraker Green)

The 1619 Project versus the 1776 Commission. Patriotic history versus revisionist history. The question of what students should learn when they study U.S. history has turned classrooms across the country into a microcosm of our nation’s polarized political beliefs. Competing narratives about slavery, white supremacy, indigenous peoples, colonization, and so much more are all presented as fundamental truth. Who should hold power over the history we teach? How do we guide students to understand the past, and therefore the present? Ansley T. Erickson, Associate Professor of History and Education Policy and Co-Director of the Center on History and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, moderates this conversation with Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University and host of the podcast "Teaching Hard History: American Slavery"; Errol C. Saunders, II, a fifteen-year veteran history teacher and the Executive Director of Pathfinder at Hopkins School; and Kerry Foraker Green, a public school educator in Dallas County, Texas where she teaches secondary U.S. History.

Mar 10, 2021 06:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Ansley T. Erickson
Ansley T. Erickson, is Associate Professor of History and Education Policy and Co-Director of the Center on History and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University. A U.S. historian who focuses on educational inequality, segregation, and the interactions between schooling, urban and metropolitan space, racism, and capitalism, her first book, "Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits" won the History of Education Society’s Outstanding Book Award in 2017. Beginning in 2020, Erickson serves as an associate editor of the "American Educational Research Journal." Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Dissent magazine, Chalkbeat, The Tennessean, and The Nashville Scene. Erickson co-directs the Harlem Education History Project which produced an edited volume, "Educating Harlem: A Century of Schooling and Resistance in a Black Community," published by Columbia University Press in 2020 and available in an open-access digital edition.
Hasan Kwame Jeffries
Hasan Kwame Jeffries is associate professor of history at the Ohio State University where he teaches courses on the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement. He is the author of "Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt," and the editor of "Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement," which won the 2020 James Harvey Robinson Prize from the American Historical Association for the most outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of history in any field for public or educational purposes. He also wrote and narrated the 10-episode Audible Original series "Great Figures of the Civil Rights Movement," released in Feb 2020. Dr. Jeffries served as the lead historian for the five-year, $25 million renovation of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. He is also the host of the podcast "Teaching Hard History: American Slavery," a production of the Teaching Tolerance division of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Errol C. Saunders II
Errol C. Saunders, II is a fifteen-year veteran history teacher and the Executive Director of Pathfinder at Hopkins School, an educational non-profit that prepares students from New Haven public and parochial schools for high school success. Errol has taught and developed innovative curricula for middle and high schoolers in both English and history with emphases on thematic content orientation, cultural relevance and responsiveness, historical problem solving, and making forceful, nuanced arguments from primary sources. Errol holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University, an Ed.M. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University and is currently a doctoral student in that department. His research interests include public pedagogies of race and how going to school across geographic boundaries affects students’ educational experiences, senses of belonging, and outcomes.