How does society rebuild after extraordinary division and trauma, when the ideals and values of democracy are most vulnerable?
The Reconstruction era, most commonly viewed as the period from 1865 to 1877, was a monumental struggle for freedom and democracy in the face of violent backlash. The study of the Reconstruction era in American history is essential to an understanding of citizenship and democracy in the United States today.
During this course, you will examine this significant period in US history, when Americans were faced with the challenge of restoring a nation amid the social and political upheaval of the Civil War. You will learn to teach about the Reconstruction era using an approach that helps students connect this history to their own lives and the choices they make today.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Plan and implement a unit of study, built on the Facing History methodology, that focuses on the Reconstruction era of American history and the challenges of creating a just democracy in a time of deep division
- Use key resources and teaching strategies to help students explore the idea that democracy can only remain vital through the active, thoughtful, and responsible participation of its citizens
- Use historical and contemporary examples to develop students’ understanding of Reconstruction’s legacy and the importance of presenting an accurate account of this era
- Learn how to facilitate respectful classroom discussions on difficult issues such as racism, bigotry, and other forms of exclusion in a way that invites personal reflection and critical analysis
- Use new teaching strategies that help students interrogate texts, write and think critically, and discuss controversial issues respectfully
Who should take this course: 7th–12th grade US history, humanities, and English language arts teachers and curriculum specialists.
Cost: Free. The registration fee and event fee for this online course have been waived thanks to generous funding from Facing History and Ourselves donors and partner organizations.
Duration: 6 weeks. There is a new session each week. The first week's session is designed to welcome you to the course, introduce you to Facing History, and connect you with other educators in the course. Weeks two through six are designed so that you will engage with course-related readings, videos, and other resources and leave with concrete strategies and lesson plan ideas to implement in your classroom. Sessions begin on Thursday and end on the following Wednesday.
Time Commitment: Approximately 1 hour for week 1. Approximately 3 to 4 hours per week for weeks 2 through 6.
Format: Self-paced, asynchronous, with online and webinar discussions facilitated by Facing History experts.
Certificate of Completion: Awarded upon successful completion of the course, for 20 professional development hours. If you are an educator based in New York, after taking this course you are eligible for 20 CTLE hours. Please contact Renee Harleston, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an educator based in Illinois, after taking this course you are eligible for up to twenty clock hours. Please contact Sarah Shields, email@example.com with any questions about Illinois ISBE clock hours.
Graduate Credit: 3 graduate credits are available through the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and require an additional project and fees. For more information about graduate credit, check out our graduate credit guide.