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Closing the Gap in Civics for Students with Disabilities in Classrooms from K-12

Published on Wed, 09/08/2021

Mind the Gap

Students gain knowledge and skills in civics and history when schools provide effective instruction and when students have opportunities to express their voice and to engage in activities like service-learning. Yet American education is falling far short–in elementary grades in particular–and especially for students with disabilities. 

What is our value? A look at undervalued people

What is our value? The principle that people are paid for their work does not always work as it should; many people who have been historically undervalued have contributed to American society, including many people of color, people with a disability, women, and children. Students view images and text of people whose lives may not have been adequately valued by their contemporaries. Students examine those documents, do further research, and come to their own conclusions about how those individuals should have been and should be valued, and possibly assisted.

Winter Course on Using Inquiry and Primary Sources to Increase Access for ALL

Published on Fri, 01/15/2021

Amazing and student-empowering teacher-created lesson plans have been the result each time we offer this course! 

Our online graduate-level one-credit course, Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities through Primary Sources, offered from January 16 to March 18, provides an opportunity to expand your comfort with finding and using primary sources to engage students of all abilities. Discuss strategies and tools with seasoned educators and creative colleagues around the country through the online discussions throughout the month. 

Putting Primary Sources in Order - Text Set and Flow Map

Organizing a rich text set of primary sources requires that students analyze and make sense of several sources on a topic. In this case, they seek to answer a focused guiding question. Students sort through about a dozen images, letters, forms, and political cartoon. In practice, a teacher could offer fewer sources, though it is a valuable sometimes to require students to choose among sources. The primary sources are also give context by a secondary source narrative from the Veterans Administration. 

Wendy Harris guest post: What exactly is a disability?

Published on Tue, 09/22/2020

In celebration of our new course on teaching disability history in the K-12 classroom, we invited Wendy Harris, a teacher at a school for the Deaf with expertise in teaching DeafBlind students, to share her thoughts about disability with us. The topic of Deafness as a disability gives the opportunity to begin with an exploration of the conception of DISABILITY itself, and the question of what abilities and attributes should be regarded as a disadvantage or an equally valid and valuable difference in experience of the world. This is where Wendy Harris's reflections begin. 

Why Teach Disability History?

Published on Mon, 12/02/2019

State Standards

There is growing awareness among state policy makers that teaching Disability History is past due. California’s 2011 Fair Education Act included people with disabilities among groups whose history must be taught. Other states followed. In 2018, new Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework integrated several pivotal developments in disability history, from Dorothea Dix to the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

Deformity and Disability in Ancient Greece

This lesson focuses on the study of deformities and disabilities in ancient Greece in relation to their societal norms. Students will compare the images of two Greek gods, Zeus and Hephaestus. They will read excerpts from three ancient Greek philosophers; Plato, Aristotle and Plutarch regarding people with disabilities as well as the myth explaining the birth of Hephaestus on Mount Olympus. Students will be able to analyze a variety of ancient sources to draw conclusions about society’s view of people with disabilities in ancient Greece.

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