Teaching Reconstruction in South Carolina

Victoria Smalls, Teach Reconstruction Campaign Organizer

We are pleased to introduce Victoria Smalls who has joined the Zinn Education Project staff as the Teach Reconstruction campaign organizer in South Carolina. As you may know, our Teach Reconstruction campaign is designed to support and expand the teaching of this vital era that is too often given short shrift in textbooks and state standards.

While the campaign is national, we are launching a focused effort in South Carolina. Victoria, who is based in Beaufort, and has worked at the Penn Center and the International African American Museum in Charleston, can support your efforts to teach about Reconstruction. She can support students in the Make Reconstruction History Visible project and share examples of Reconstruction inquiry by teachers and students throughout the state. We hope that teachers in South Carolina can inspire and inform the rest of the country as they teach about Reconstruction.

Here are some ideas about the support we can offer. We welcome your additional suggestions:

  • Make Reconstruction History Visible student project. In this project, students identify, research, and document Reconstruction sites in their community and can advocate for an historical marker if there is not one already. Victoria can support this effort in a number of ways – from providing lists of sites in your area to give your students an idea of where to start, connecting your students with scholars if they run into questions, providing feedback on student research and advocacy, and more.
  • Teaching lessons on Reconstruction from the Zinn Education Project website. While you are teaching one of the lessons, Victoria can visit your classroom to assist with small group work and document the exciting work of teachers and students. We love to celebrate the teaching of Reconstruction history in stories posted on our website and shared with local media. Your focus on Reconstruction can encourage others to do the same.
  • Connecting students to peers and/or scholars. Victoria can schedule Skype sessions between your class and students in another part of the state or country who are also learning about Reconstruction. She can also coordinate a Skype session with a Reconstruction scholar to respond to specific content questions your students may have.
  • Field trips: Victoria can provide ideas and support for Reconstruction related field trips and projects in addition to the Make Reconstruction History Visible initiative.
  • Professional development: Victoria can coordinate a professional development workshop for your school district or department on Reconstruction with one of our teacher leaders.
  • And more.

Please complete this survey so that we can learn about the work you have done on Reconstruction and how we can help. In appreciation for your time responding to the questions, we will enter your name in a raffle to receive two books on Reconstruction for your classroom. There will be FIVE winners – so the odds are good! Please drop everything and respond today.