A 2018 survey by the Southern Poverty Law Center found that schools are not adequately teaching the history of American slavery — educators are not prepared to teach it and textbooks are inadequate — and, as a result, “students lack a basic knowledge of the important role it played in shaping the United States and the impact it continues to have on race relations in America.”
Raphael Rogers, associate professor of practice in Clark’s Education Department, is working to change that. In “Here’s what I tell teachers about how to teach young students about slavery,” an article published on The Conversation, Rogers shares the four things he believes teachers must do if they plan to teach about slavery: explore actual records, examine historical arguments, highlight lived experiences, and consider the relevance.
Rogers, who has worked with teachers at Claremont Academy in Worcester, writes, “These lessons that I have developed take a variety of approaches but are all rooted in taking a look at the realities of slavery using historical evidence.”
A member of the Clark faculty since 2012, Rogers is affiliated with the Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice, Hiatt Center for Urban Education, and Community, Youth, and Education Studies program. He is the author of “The Representation of Slavery in Children’s Picture Books: Teaching and Learning About Slavery in K-12 Classrooms” (2018) and has book chapters in “Partnership and Powerful Teacher Education” (2019) and “Frontiers in American Children’s Literature” (2016). Rogers has also collaborated with other Massachusetts educators to create culturally responsive teaching resources for the state’s Department of Education.